STAGED for the second straight year this season, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) 3×3 basketball tournament was welcomed not only by alumni schools but also the country’s basketball federation for the key role it plays in fostering the growth of the sport here and establishing the Philippines’ capabilities in it abroad.
In a statement released early this week, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) lauded the UAAP for staging a successful 3×3 tournament held on March 2 and 3 at the Ayala Malls Feliz in Pasig City.
SBP President Al Panlilio cited the efforts of the league to have its own 3×3 tournament in alignment with the SBP and asked other groups as well to do the same to make the country’s 3×3 push a concerted one and reap the corresponding benefits.
“The alignment forged by the UAAP 3×3 organizers with the SBP is what we’ve been actively espousing. We are very pleased that the UAAP 3×3 with their 3×3 commissioner Xavier Nunag and SBP 3×3 program head Ronnie Magsanoc were able to establish a strong link and partnership that benefitted our country in our goal to generate as many points as possible,” said Mr. Panlilio in the statement.
“Remember that 3×3 is now an Olympic sport and that’s why I am calling on all independent 3×3 event organizers to align with coach Ronnie so that they can be guided accordingly on the correct formula in running their respective tournaments,” he added.
Mr. Magsanoc shared the same view even as he said that he was pleased on how this year’s edition of the UAAP 3×3 tournament panned out.
“On behalf of the SBP, we are grateful to the UAAP for helping the national program of the 3×3. Some of the best and brightest 3×3 players traced their roots in the UAAP,” said Magsanoc.
“Players like Ricci Rivero, Juan Gomez de Liano, Thirdy Ravena, Jack Animam of women’s basketball have represented the country playing for the national team. Looking forward to having the discipline as a part of the regular sports competition for Season 82,” he added.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles topped the men’s division of the UAAP 3×3, defeating University of Santo Tomas in the finals, 19-13, while the National University Lady Bulldogs ruled the women’s side, beating the Adamson Lady Falcons, 21-3. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo