SBP takes advantage of PBA ‘opening its doors’ with all-pro 3×3 SEA Games pool
MANILA, Philippines–The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on Thursday revealed an all-PBA pool for the 3×3 men’s basketball competition for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Missing from the list are players from the roster Chooks-to-Go, which has been mainly responsible for hiking the Philippines’ overall federation ranking and putting two Filipinos in FIBA’s top 100 list.
Robert Bolick, CJ Perez and 3×3 veteran Terrence Romeo banner the pool which also includes Tony Semerad, Ian Sangalang, Chris Banchero, Raymond Almazan, Jason Perkins, Mo Tautuaa, Baser Amer, Chris Newsome and Mac Belo.
Al Panlilio, the basketball body’s top honcho, said in a statement that non-inclusion of Chooks-to-Go players was to “take advantage of the PBA opening its doors for any of its players to be used in the competition.”
“In this case, if we can bring the PBA—since the players are available—[the better]. We can bring more people, more interest into the program. It only helps the SBP to bring all of this together,” he said in a separate interview at the PBA office.
Panlilio, though, made it clear that he is appreciative of Chooks’ efforts, which has plucked the country from obscurity to a comfortable spot in the global ladder and a chance at competing in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Tokyo 2020.
“Chooks has done a very good job in terms of progressing the development of 3×3. We’re ranked 21 in the world,” he said. “Now we have an opportunity to compete in the OQT.”
Panlilio said that the SBP is positioning Chooks’ players for the Olympic qualifying games that the league is bidding to host.
Filipino-American Joshua Munzon, the top-ranked 3×3 cager of the country, is 99th overall while homegrown talent Alvin Pasaol, second on home soil, sits on 124th in the global list.
“From the SBP’s point of view, I wanted to develop the program as pervasive as the 5-on-5 format,” said Panlilio in a separate interview at the PBA office.
“The rules of FIBA is different from the rules of the SEA Games,” Panlilio added. “The game is something we should propagate even much more.