|Balanga will play in two major 3x3 club tournaments next month. Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—The Philippines is now in a better position to land a spot in the men's division of the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
As of Tuesday, the Philippines is now in 21st place in the world rankings with 8,156,366 points, way inside the Top 24.
The total points amassed during the recently concluded Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Magiting Cup and even Pasig's stint in the FIBA 3x3 Kaohsiung Challenger were now taken into account. Thus, the jump from 26th place as of last week.
Prior to the start of the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league in February, the Philippines was at number 59, so the 38-rank upgrade in a seven-month span is a huge achievement for league owner Ronald Mascariñas.
"All the hard work of our players, our team owners, our staff, and the federation has paid off," said Mascariñas.
Within the said span, the Philippines hosted three Quests in the form of the said league's three conferences, the world's first-ever Super Quest, and a Challenger.
With only one month left before the Oct. 31 cutoff, the goal now is to maintain the Top 24 spot especially with South Korea (22nd), Qatar (23rd), Germany (24th), and Belarus (25th) not far behind.
South Korea will be hosting the FIBA 3x3 Seoul (Sept. 28-29) and Jeju (Oct. 5-6) Challengers in the next two weekends, giving the Philippines' longtime hoops rival an opportunity to seal its spot in the OQT as well.
"We can't just wait and leave our fate to chance. We have to continue pushing until the goal is met," added Mascariñas.
Balanga will be in action in the Jeju Challenger and also in the World Tour Jeddah Masters on Oct. 18-19.
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