Altamirano bats for 3x3 hoops as better fit for Filipino ballers

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Altamirano bats for 3x3 hoops as better fit for Filipino ballers
FEU, Team Elite, CJHA B and Team Kamalayan will be going to the Red Bull Half Court national finals for the men’s side
Philstar.com / Ralph Villanueva

MANILA, Philippines -- If you were to ask Coach Eric Altamirano, Filipinos have a “better shot” in 3x3 basketball compared to the usual five-a-side games.

On Saturday, Red Bull Half Court Philippines held the Manila Qualifiers of the tournament at the Gameville Ball Park in Mandaluyong City.

Altamirano, the director of the tournament, underscored that 3x3 basketball is a “growing sport,” and is very different from the 5-on-5 game.

And Saturday’s event showed how Filipinos flourish in the half court game.

“For the Manila qualifiers, you saw how there are many players who are good in playing 3x3. Some of them are really playing in the pro level, and some are playing for fun, and they’re here to enjoy the game. So, it’s a mixed bag,” he told reporters in Filipino.

“We see some teams that we feel can represent the Philippines in New York, where the grand finals will be held,” he added.

Four men’s teams and two women’s teams are going into the national finals tournament on April 27.

FEU, Team Elite, CJHA B and Team Kamalayan will be going to the finals for the men’s side, while New Zealand Creamery and Adamson Falcons Blue punched tickets to the women’s division.

FEU and New Zealand Creamery reigned supreme in their respective divisions of the Manila qualifiers.

“Personally, in my own opinion, I think [Filipinos] have a better shot in 3x3, because in 3x3, height is not a prerequisite. You have to have different skills – shooting, dribbling, quickness – and not necessarily height,” Altamirano said.

“I think that’s the natural trait of the Filipinos. We’re guard-oriented,” he added.

Those who will be competing in the national finals tournament will be teams from the Cebu Qualifiers, Davao Qualifiers, Manila Qualifiers and the Wild Card.

Those who win in the national finals will punch a ticket to the Red Bull Half Court world final slated in New York City from October 16-21.

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