THE road to the Fiba 3x3 World Tour semifinals for the four-man Manila West team will go through Sao Paolo of Brazil and Bucharest of Romania on Saturday.
The three qualifiers to the World Tour Finals in Sendai, Japan are in Pool B and will meet in single round play to pick the top two that will advance to the knockout quarterfinals along with six more teams from three other brackets.
The four remaining teams will meet in the crossover semis, with the last two disputing the championship.
In Pool A are: Denver (USA), Santos (Brazil) and Novi Sad (Serbia). Group C has Kranj (Slovenia), Jakarta (Indonesia) and Wukesong (China) while Group D is comprised of Saskatoon (Canada), Trbovlje (Slovenia) and Kobe (Japan),
Manila West, made up of KG Canaleta of Talk ‘N Text, Rey Guevarra of Meralco, Aldrech Ramos of NLEX and Terrence Romeo of Globalport and one of four Philippine teams during the Fiba 3x3 Manila Masters leg last August, emerged victorious by dethroning world champion Doha of Qatar in the final, 21-17, at the Fashion Hall of the SM Megamall.
The World Tour Finals is set October 11 and 12.
Coaches Eric Altamirano of the National University Bulldogs and John Flores of La Salle Greenhills will head the Philippine team. Leading the delegation is Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios.
“Ang importante talaga e makumpleto sila; kundisyon naman ang mga 'yan e,” said Altamirano, who was able to meet the four PBA players only last Tuesday.
“They have to get used to the rules again kasi, and get used to playing with each other. Maybe we’ll just try to arrange some games with the other teams in Japan for two days. Yun na lang ang practice nila.”
Altamirano is in the middle of the UAAP best-of-three championship series where his NU Bulldogs trail the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 1-0, at posting time.