SBP eyes record crowds for 3×3 tourney
The Fiba 3×3 World Cup just might be a teaser for the Philippine hosting of the 2023 World Cup, but Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) expects to draw record crowds just the same for the event slated June 8 to 12.
“We’re excited because there will be 40 teams from different countries coming over to the Philippines,” said SBP president Al Panlilio. “3×3 is basketball, but played differently. It’s equally exciting.”
Games will be played at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan—which has a seat capacity of 55,000—so SBP hopes to set a 3×3 crowd attendance record.
The Philippines previously hosted the Fiba 3×3 World Tour events for club teams that saw packed audiences at SM Megamall in Ortigas and Robinsons Place Manila as PBA stars like Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva represented the country.
“One of the things we viewed as important was the success of the World Tours in the two malls in the previous years,” said Fiba managing director Alex Sanchez. “We would like to give the event a strong push for the Filipinos to see if they can develop a strong program to be in Tokyo 2020 (Olympics).”
SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said aside from Romeo and Abueva, past 3×3 players like Troy Rosario, Mac Belo, Glenn Khobuntin, Karl Dehesa, Russel Escoto, Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng head the list of candidates.
“It’s very heartwarming because we’re getting a lot of volunteers among the PBA players,” Barrios said during the event launch Thursday at Bonifacio High Street.