Team Philippines draws tough 3x3 World Cup group

Nelson Beltran - The Philippine Star
Team Philippines draws tough 3x3 World Cup group
From left: BAVI president Ronald Mascariñas, SBP Executive Sonny Barrios, Sen. Joel Villanueva, SBP president Al Panlilio, Sen. Sonny Angara, FIBA Managing Director Alex Sanchez, and Smarts Sports' Epok Quimpo
Philstar.com Photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines gained automatic berth as the host team but found itself in a tough bracket with Russia, Brazil, Canada and Mongolia in the drawing of lots for the FIBA 3x3 World Cup set at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on June 8-12.

In the draw held at the FIBA headquarters in Mies, Switzerland yesterday, Team Phl landed in Group C with teams with successful professional teams on the FIBA 3x3 World Tour.

Russia was bronze medalist in the 2014 World Cup while Mongolia won the Asia Cup at home last year with upsets of Australia and New Zealand.

The Philippines needs to make the Top Two in group plays to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament where the team of Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, JR Quiñahan and Kobe Paras finished 11th out of 20 teams in Nantes, France last year.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio said he would discuss with the PBA board of governors in a meeting in Hong Kong next week the composition of the Phl squad in the 2018 3x3 World Cup.

“Everybody’s joining the trip from chairman Ricky Vargas and even his sec. gen. Patrick Gregorio (in the Philippine Olympic Committee). It’s actually just a bonding session but the governors will surely be interested to talk about the 3x3 World Cup,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.

The SBP is looking at an all-pro team, possibly coming from TNT KaTropa and San Miguel Beer. The league commissioner, meanwhile, is suggesting Christian Standhardinger, Stanley Pringle and Marcio Lassiter whom he feels are skillful for 3-on-3 competitions.

Serbia and the Netherlands, the 2017 finalists, curiously found themselves in the same group in Pool A with Romania, New Zealand and Kyrgyzstan.

Slovenia, Poland, Estonia, Japan and Ecuador slug it out in Group B while Latvia, Ukraine, Croatia, Jordan and Nigeria battle in Group D.

The Philippines will also be in an uphill ride in the distaff side where it faces Hungary, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain in Group D.

Hungary was silver medal winner last year while Spain and the Netherlands finished second and third, respectively, at the 2017 Europe Cup.

Venezuela, Czech Republic, Italy, Malaysia and Turkmenistan are in Group A, China, France, Kazakhstan, Switzerland and Argentina in Group B and Andorra, Russia, Iran, the United States and Uganda in Group C.

Russia is the reigning champ while the USA is a former two-time winner.

The top two from each pool advance to a standard knockout round which starts at the quarterfinals stage set on the last day of competition falling on the country’s independence day.



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