UAAP goes back to its roots with first 3×3 tournament
La Salle and University of the Philippines emerge as the heavy favorites to win the first UAAP 3×3 basketball tournament on Sunday at SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.
The Green Archers, bannered by Andrei Caracut, Aljun Melecio, Justine Baltazar, and Santi Santillan, as well as the Fighting Maroons, led by Jun Manzo, Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño, and Gelo Vito, are primed to make a deep run in the landmark staging as the collegiate league brings the action from the hardcourt to the half-court.
“We’re going back to our roots because even before I played 5-on-5 basketball, we all started in 3-on-3 in the streets,” said UAAP commissioner Rebo Saguisag. “It was a rite of passage. Manhood was measured by how good you were in the basketball court.”
Seven men’s squad and eight women’s teams will participate in the one-day tournament, which will serve as a demonstration sport this UAAP Season 80.
Teams are divided into two groups with crews playing in a single-round elimination format. The top two teams from each group will progress in a crossover semifinals, with the victors facing off in the Finals.
In the men’s side, Adamson, Ateneo, La Salle, and UE are in Group A, while FEU, NU, and UP are in Group B. UST opted to forego a chance to field a squad in the tournament.
The Soaring Falcons will parade Brendan Espeleta, Jude Longalong, June Buenaventura, and Lenda Douanga; the Blue Eagles will lean on Rodney Manuel, Dan Wong, Gabe Natividad, and Quintin Banzon; while the Red Warriors will field Philip Manalang, Mark Maloles, Alvin Pasaol, and Jason Varilla.
Also, the Tamaraws will bank on Michael John Casiño, Wendel Comboy, Richard Escoto, and Ken Tuffin while the Bulldogs will rely on JP Cauilan, Chami Diputado, Theo Joshua Flores, and Anthony Sistoza.
The women’s side will also have essentially the same groupings.
Adamson (Jonalyn Lacson, Jaime Grace Alcoy, April Cabug and Nathalia Prado), Ateneo (Katrina Guytingco, Johanne Nimes, Nicole Cancio, and Jhazmine Jason), La Salle (Vea Malarde, Lauryn del Campo, Angel Figueroa, and Marga Jimenez), and UE (Christine Cortizano, Joyce Francisco, Princess Pedregosa, and Anna Requiron) will make up Group A, while FEU (Claire Castro, Princess Soraya Jumuad, Valerie Mae Mamaril, and Fatima Quiapo), NU (Jack Animam, Afril Bernardino, Annick Fabienne Edimo Tiky, and Ria Nabalan), UP (Lourdes Ordoveza, Justine Domingo, Christine Iriss Isip, and Gene Amar) and UST (Angelica Anies, Jhenn Angeles, Karla Manuel, and Maria Sangalang) complete Group B.
League officials are hoping that the initial staging of the 3×3 event will be a success as it serves as a platform for the discipline on its potential inclusion in the succeeding seasons.
“When 3-on-3 was announced to be an Olympic sport, we discussed it internally in FEU, then afterwards with ABS-CBN as something we wanted to push,” shared FEU athletic director Mark Molina.
“This will be the start. Hopefully, this will be a regular sport in the UAAP come next season. If volleyball has indoor and beach volleyball, I don’t see any reason why UAAP can’t have 3×3 as a regular sport in the second semester by Season 81.”
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