PBA 3×3: Teams, format, impact on SBP

The Philippine Basketball Association will begin its inaugural 3×3 tournament on Saturday, November 20 at the Ynares Sports Arena. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the tournament and why it impacts the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

Which teams are participating? 

There will be a total of 13 participating squads, consisting of 10 PBA teams and three guest teams. 

The groupings of the teams have been set for the first leg with Pool A headlined by TNT Tropang Giga and Purefoods TJ Titans. They are joined by Limitless Appmasters, Zamboanga Valientes, and Platinum Karaoke. 

Pool B boasts of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 3×3, Terrafirma 3×3, Meralco Bolts 3×3, Sista Super Sealers. 

Completing the groupings in Pool C are the San Miguel Beermen, NorthPort Batang Pier, Cavitex Braves, Pioneer Pro Tibay. 

What is the tournament format? 

Each pool will compete in a single-round elimination format. 

The top three teams from Pool A plus the top two in Pools B and C will gain quarterfinals berths. The third-best teams from Pools B and C will have to duke it out for the last ticket to the quarterfinals. The seedings will be based on the teams’ placings after the pool competitions. 

The quarterfinals will hold a single-game elimination format with the four remaining teams advancing to the semifinals. Winners of the semifinals will proceed to the championship round while the losers will compete in a Battle for Third game. 

How long will the tournament last? 

The PBA 3×3 tourney will have three conferences with each conference consisting of six two-day legs and a grand final.

What is the significance of PBA 3×3 to SBP? 

SBP 3×3 Program Director Ronnie Magsanoc said: 

“Part of the push by our SBP president Al Panlilio is to try and collaborate with the PBA to build a new brand of basketball to help the federation in its race to try and get into the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments for the Paris 2024 Olympics. This will help the program on a long-term basis but more than that it’s also our best chance to grow another brand of basketball.”

SBP President Al Panlilio:

“We at the SBP fully support the opening of the PBA 3×3 tournament as this contributes to the federation’s ranking points. This means the SBP and the PBA are working together for the achievement of our dream to send the Philippines 3×3 delegation all the way to the 2024 Paris Olympics.”

How does the PBA 3×3 translate to the Olympics? 

“The only way for us to contend for an Olympic Qualifying slot is yung consistency ng competition meaning laro buong taon, laro as frequent as possible,” said SBP 3×3 Program Director Ronnie Magsanoc. “And we are right now in the category of blue level in the FIBA 3×3 category meaning the points we will be garnering, will be under that level.”

“And the federation points of the Philippines will be be based on the individual ranking points that our 3×3 specialists seeing action in the PBA 3×3 will be able to harness. So bawat laro, bawat panalo, bawat puntos naka bulsa sa individual players at yung kanilang puntos pag sinuma total, yan ay mapupunta sa federation rankings or ranking ng Pilipinas sa buong mundo.”

Who are some of the notable players in the upcoming tournament? 

Mac Cardona is one of the stars who will make his return to the PBA as part of Zamboanga Valientes. A first-round pick of the 2005 PBA draft, Cardona is a champion and a finals MVP. Among his other career accolades is the Best Player of the Conference (2007 Fiesta Conference) award. 

Larry Fonacier (Cavitex), LA Revilla (NorthPort), Nico Salva (Limitless), Karl Dehesa (Platinum), and Dylan Ababou (Platinum) are among the other players to watch out for. 

What can fans expect in PBA 3×3?

“It’s fast, it’s furious, it’s speed and endurance at its best. Dito makikita ng henyo ng mga Pinoy, yung ability to adapt in pressure-packed situations, quick thinking,” said Magsanoc. “So it’s all about the rush, the rush of competing in a 10-minute game with a 12-second shot clock and a chance to be a champion to represent perhaps the country outside of the PBA 3×3.”

“Dahil layunin nga namin katuwang ang SBP, ang ating magka-kampeon sa PBA 3×3, ay maiimbitahan maglaro on a global stage. At yan yung isa sa mga tulong satin ng FIBA.”