3×3 could be PH’s path to Olympic basketball stint
A Fiba official expressed confidence that 3×3 basketball will be the best avenue for the Philippines to see action in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Fiba managing director Alex Sanchez said that he thinks Filipinos have a bigger chance of qualifying for the quadrennial games in the halfcourt game thanks to their extensive knowledge of the sport.
“In my opinion, Filipinos have a real chance to make it (to the Olympics). Hopefully, the staging of the 2018 Fiba 3×3 World Cup here can give us a nice push to get a Philippine team to the Olympics,” he said Thursday.
The Philippines is set to host the 2018 Fiba 3×3 World Cup at Philippine Arena from June 8 to 12, and though this won’t be a qualifying tournament, the Fiba executive knows that the hosting alone could boost the country’s chances of being one of the first nations to participate in the inaugural staging in Tokyo 2020.
“The fact that we have this event here, even if it’s not a direct qualifier, should help in creating momentum in the implementation of a successful program,” Sanchez said.
The Tokyo Games will be the first time that 3×3 basketball will be held as a part of the Summer Olympics.
Sanchez also welcomed the Philippines being at the forefront of the discipline’s advancement, saying, “This is going to be helpful for us in developing the sport of 3×3 basketball.”
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio hopes that Sanchez’ words will become reality as the Philippines is going all in on Fiba’s new endeavors.
“The 3×3 basketball is played rather differently compared to five-on-five and it’s exciting. We at SBP are looking at how we can improve in the rankings of 3×3 and it’s something that maybe, the Philippines can also qualify in Tokyo in 2020,” he said.
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