THE 2018 Asian Games will see the debut of 3x3 basketball in the calendar.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios confirmed 3x3 basketball has been included in the calendar of events to be played in Jakarta for the quadrennial competition.
Barrios said the 3x3 competition will be limited to players aged 18 to 23 years old, opening up the possibility of youngsters like AJ Edu and Kobe Paras flying the flag for the Philippines in the event set from August 18 to September 2.
Edu, the nimble 6-9 forward based in the United Kingdom, teamed up with Juan Gomez de Liano, Encho Serrano, and Rhayyan Amsali to lead Batang Gilas to a seventh-place finish in the Fiba 3x3 Under-18 World Cup last year.
Edu and Co. ended up with a 3-1 record in Group A then lost to eventual champion Belguim, 18-14, in the quarterfinals. Still they ended up as the best-placed Asian team in the field.
On the other hand, Paras, 20, joined Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan in the Fiba 3x3 World Cup in Nantes, France where the Philippines finished with a 2-2 record, beating Romania (21-15) in the opener before dropping consecutive matches to France (11-22) and Slovenia (14-21).
The SBP has yet to bare its plans for the Asiad - both for the five-a-side game and the 3x3 variety.
But the Philippines is set to host the 2018 Fiba 3x3 World Cup in June and that should firm up hopes for a strong PH side to vye for Asiad gold two months later in Jakarta.
So how about it?