TEAMS from Baguio and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) shared the limelight with the winning squads from the National Capital Region (NCR) at the end of the first Best Center-FIBA 3x3 basketball tournament at the Ateneo Courts.
More than 500 players from 128 teams in two divisions joined the tournament organized by the pioneering Basketball Efficiency and Scientific Training (Best) Center in partnership with Milo Ready to Drink and with the support of Freego and Rain or Shine.
The Giants of St. Louis High School in Baguio City surprised the big field by emerging as the first 15-and-Under champions of the new league formed in response to the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) call to push what was known as ‘street basketball’ into becoming an Olympic sport very soon.
The Giants were composed of Luis Emmanuel Lising, Antonio Abriol, Magnus Gabriel Ines, and Angelo Cashio.
The Meteors of De La Salle-Zobel placed runners-up to the Giants. They are Prince Arthur Gaiser II, Philip Charles T. Gatmaytan, Ronald Rey Santos and Jude Emmanuel Codinera, the son of former PBA star Jerry Codinera.
Third was The Force of San Francisco High School students Sebastian Lesley Dominique Dait, Marvin Perin, Isaiah John Banato and Maoi She Vidad, who represented Lamut, Ifugao of CAR.
The Sharks of AMA-QC, with Kylie Rivera, Jethro Ortinalla, Jefferson Magpayo, and Manuel Robles won the 12-and-Under crown at the expense of sister team AMA-QC Bulldogs of Tristan Amon, Khalijan Diologo, Lih Ambrose dela Cruz and Ren Cobie Tolentino.
The Roosters of De la Salle Greenhills, made up of Victorino Torres III, Mark Angelo Torrijos, Javier Luis Jugo and Jenji Duremdes, son of another former PBA icon Kenneth, placed third.
BEST Center president Nic Jorge, a former national coach, said he was elated by the turnout, which he said is an indication of the sport’s popularity here at home,
Top amateur Thirdy Ravena and PBA star Jeff Chan led the oath of sportsmanship, with Kiefer Ravena, Chris Tiu, and Jerry Codinera lending their support to the participants, along with Caron Cruz, Nestle consumer marketing manager.