By WAYLON GALVEZ
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio is confident the PBA board will allow players who will be selected to suit up and represent the country in the 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup on June 8 to 12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
While the SBP official did not identify the players they are looking to invite, Panlilio assured that the SBP will form the best team possible.
“We’ll talk to the PBA board first, and we’ll let them know the players we’re requesting for the 3×3 national team,” said Panlilio, governor of the Meralco Bolts.
The league governors, along with PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, left for Hong Kong yesterday for a mid-season three-day meeting before the season resumes with the Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday.
In 2016 in Guangzhou, China, pros Karl Dehesa and Glenn Khobuntin teamed up with then amateur stalwarts Mac Belo and Russel Escoto to place ninth – the best finish for the country in the 3×3 event.
Last year in Nantes, France, amateur stars Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng formed the team with US-based college player Kobe Paras and PBA veteran JR Quiñahan. They finished 11th overall.
This time, it appears the SBP is forming an all-pro team since some of its players have had 3×3 experience, including Alaska forward Calvin Abueva and new TNT KaTropa Terrence Romeo.
The country is in Group C with Russia, Brazil, Canada and Mongolia.