ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL staging of Red Bull Reign Philippines was staged at the weekend with Team Phenom and Team Gilas ruling the men’s and women’s divisions, respectively.
Held at Kerry Sports Manila last Saturday, Red Bull Reign, the energy drink brand’s popular 3-on-3 street basketball tournament, gathered once again some of the top teams in the land in a day of competitive action which served as a qualifier for the global finals later this year in Toronto, Canada.
After a series of competitions, Team Phenom emerged as the winner in the men’s division while Team Gilas ruled the women’s side.
They will compete in the global finals and pit their skills against squads from other countries like Belgium, Canada, India, Lithuania, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Russian Federation, Turkey and United Kingdom.
In last Saturday’s finals, Phenom, composed of Michole Sorela, Junjie Hallare, and Shaq Alanes bested a Prince Eze-bannered Team Basilan, 22-19.
It did so in dramatic fashion with Mr. Sorela draining the two points from beyond the arc that clinched for them the victory.
Over at the women’s side, Janine Pontejos, Clare Castro, Jack Animam, and Afril Bernardino steamrolled their way to the title, with Team Gilas beating Team Zamboanga, 22-6.
Misses Pontejos, Castro, Animam and Bernardino are staples in the women’s national team and recently competed at the FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup in May in China.
“We’re very excited for what has been happening and the future as well. Red Bull has been active in promoting 3×3 not just in the Philippines but also abroad. This is a qualifier and the Philippines is making its mark not only in the world but also in the Red Bull map,” said Vince Hizon, tournament director, in an interview with BusinessWorld as he spoke of the traction Red Bull Reign has made in the country since 2017.
He went on to share that he believes that Teams Phenom and Gilas will be competitive in the global finals but should expect a tough challenge from the rest of the field.
“Our women are really good. They are tall and athletic and they play cohesively and together. So they have a fairly decent chance. The men, if they can shoot the way they did, they can beat anybody. In this kind of tournament, the teams that get hot at the right moment generally win so you’ll never know,” Mr. Hizon said.
Mr. Hizon also said that for next year they hope to secure the rights to bring the Red Bull global finals here in the Philippines where some 30 teams are expected to participate. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo