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Panlilio believes Pinoy ballers "can really excel" in 3x3

SBP president Al Panlilio sees Filipinos thriving in the rising 3x3 game. Chooks-To-Go (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—SBP president Al Panlilio thinks that 3x3 basketball could be the way to go for aspiring local hoops stars.

"3x3 is an area where Filipino basketball players can really excel," Panlilio said on Friday night.

While height remains a plus, it is not really a primary attribute in 3x3 play considering the pace of the game, which is way faster than the traditional five-on-five.

With Filipinos known to compensate their lack of ceiling with their quickness, it is no surprise that they are beginning to thrive in global 3x3 action.

In fact, we have seen Filipino clubs like Pasig Chooks and Balanga Chooks stunning some of the world's top 3x3 teams in FIBA 3x3 Challengers and World Tour Masters.

This is why Panlilio is happy when FIBA announced on Friday night that Gilas 3x3 will get to play in the men's division of the FIBA 3x3 OQT.

[Related Story: PH qualifies for 1st FIBA 3x3 Men's OQT]

"We’re delighted that a Filipino basketball team will get to test their skills against the world’s best," he further said.

Gilas 3x3's qualification is mainly due to the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league, whose inaugural season saw three conferences that were classified as Level 7 tournaments or FIBA 3x3 Quests and another tourney classified as Level 5.

The league made Pasig and Balanga's qualification to the World Tour Masters possible as well as sending teams to Challengers including five in the Manila Challenger.

"The SBP thanks all the private promoters that held 3x3 events especially Chooks-To-Go led by Ronald MascariƱas," Panlilio continued. "We're proud of the joint effort from the Philippine basketball community that helped us reach this goal."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno