THE long-awaited inaugural season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) 3×3 tournament is being readied to tip off with the announcement of the roster of competing teams and the players seeing action for them.
As per the league, the PBA 3×3 will have 13 competing teams in its maiden offering which is set to begin around the same time the five-a-side tournament kicks off later this month.
Ten teams are made up of PBA member squads and three are guests.
League mainstays Magnolia, NLEX, Rain or Shine, Phoenix, San Miguel, Barangay Ginebra, TnT, Meralco, Northport, and Terrafirma will be parading teams with Blackwater and Alaska declining to field squads for the time being for various reasons.
The guest teams are the Zamboanga Valientes MLV, Platinum Karaoke and Pioneer Pro Tibay.
Magnolia, to play as the Purefoods Tender Juicy Titans, will have Val Acuna, Pao Javelona, Jed Mendoza and Jun Bonsubre; CAVITEX Road Warriors (NLEX) will be led by seven-time PBA champion Larry Fonacier; Sista Super Sealers (ROS) have Joseph Eriobu, Franky Johnson, Prince Rivero and Kenneth Mocon part of the team; and the Limitless Appmasters (Phoenix) have Mike Gamboa and Nico Salva in the squad.
Barangay Ginebra is bannered by Dennis Villamor; Meralco by Tonino Gonzaga and Alfred Batino; Northport had Jervy Cruz, Sean Manganti and LA Revilla; San Miguel is led by Bacon Austria; Terrafirma has Roider Cabrera and Matt Salem; and TnT will have Samboy de Leon, Lervin Flores, Jeremiah Gray and Almond Vosotros.
Dylan Ababou, JR Alabanza, Chris De Chavez, Karl Dehesa and Yutien Andrada play for Platinum Karaoke; Carlo Escalambre, Robin Rono, Gian Abrigo, Christian Rivera, Carlo De Chavez and Dan Reducto for Pioneer Tibay; and Mac Cardona, Gabby Espinas, Rudy Lingganay and JR Cawaling for Zamboanga Valientes.
The league, through 3×3 commissioner Dickie Bachmann, said the tournament will have three conferences composed of two-day legs and a grand final in the end.
In coming up with the 3×3 tournament, the PBA hopes to help in the further growth of the sport in the country as well as to provide employment for players, especially during this time of the pandemic.
It is also positioning PBA 3×3 as complementing the efforts of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas for three-on-three basketball.
The tournament was originally set to start early this year but had to be deferred several times because of the changing quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo