Philippine 3x3 bets closer to Tokyo
MANILA,Philippines — The Philippines took the first of the two steps needed to make it to 3x3 basketball in next year’s Tokyo Olympics after FIBA announced Friday night in Utsunomiya, Japan that the country made it to the 20-team qualifying tournament slated in March next year in India.
“We’re very happy the Philippines will be competing in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament for a shot at making it to Tokyo,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio. “3x3 is an area where Filipinos can really excel and we’re delighted that a Filipino basketball team will get to test their skills against the world’s best.”
The Philippines is bracketed in Pool C along with Slovenia, France, Qatar and Dominican Republic.
The other groupings consist of Mongolia, Poland, Brazil, Turkey and Spain in Pool A, United States, Lithuania, Belgium, South Korea and New Zealand in Pool B and the Netherlands, Latvia, Canada, Croatia and India in Pool D.
Now the next big step is for the Filipinos to finish in the top three in the OQT and advance straight to Tokyo where Serbia, Russia, China and Olympics host Japan are waiting.
“The journey is far from over as the goal is to not just make it to the OQT. The endgame is to make it to Tokyo. We are going all out to prepare our national team for this and we hope that everyone joins us in this journey to Tokyo,” said Chooks-To-Go’s Ronald Mascariñas.