THE Philippines will have a challenging task as hosts of the fifth staging of the Fiba 3x3 World Cup set from June 8 to 12 at the Philippine Arena, as both the Filipino men and women’s team ended up in loaded brackets after the official draw results on Tuesday.
On the men’s side, the Philippine team is joined in Pool C by world No.3 Russia (third place in the 2014 tournament), fifth-ranked Brazil, Asia’s top 3x3 team Mongolia (ranked 10th in the world) and No. 25 Canada.
The Philippines, ranked 55th in the men’s division, needs to score some massive upsets to earn a top-two place in the pool in order to advance to the knockout rounds.
The same dilemma faces the Filipina dribblers, ranked 58th in the world) after ending up in Pool D alongside 2017 second placer Hungary (world no.5), sixth-seed Netherlands, no.17 Germany, and 2017 Europe Cup second runner-up Spain (ranked 18th in the Fiba 3x3 rankings).
Reigning men’s champion Serbia will have an early rematch of the 2017 World Cup finals after ending up in Pool A with Netherlands. Completing the group Romania, New Zealand and Kyrgyzstan.
Women’s titleholder Russia, meanwhile, takes on two-time champ USA early as they are grouped in Pool C with Andorra, Iran, and Uganda.