HASTILY FORMED 3x3 squads for the country may soon be a thing of the past as Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 League is priming its players as potential national team campaigners in the halfcourt game.
League owner Ronald Mascariñas said that he and the other stakeholders are open on lending their players to the national cause if the opportunity arises.
"It's the pride of these players and these team owners that their players will play for the country. And if we shine so brightly that the federation could not ignore us, they may use our players in international tournaments," he said.
"Kaya lang, we're not in control. It's the federation who will choose. I know people there have good intentions, too. We believe they will make the right decision when that time comes."
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has previously called up a mix of PBA players and collegiate standouts to represent the country in international competitions like the 3x3 World Cup and the 3x3 World Tours.
After joining the global hoops tilt for the past three years and even hosting the 2018 staging at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, the Philippines did not get an invite for either men's and women's teams for the 2019 edition in Amsterdam in Netherlands come June.
Unfortunately, there also won't be any Philippine teams seeing action in this year's 3x3 World Tours, which is a club competition, owing to the team's insufficient points in the world rankings.
As tough as the snub was, Mascarinas said that the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 will remain true to its goals, one of which is to rack up points through the six-leg President's Cup to help the Philippines improve its world ranking, which is currently at 45th.
"We've waited enough. Matagal na nating na-neglect ang 3x3 tournaments at hindi na tayo ma-invite sa World Tours," he rued. "So now, we will continue piling up points for the country."
In the process, Mascariñas also sees the players suiting up in the ongoing President's Cup develop their 3x3 game which, he thinks, could boost their individual rankings and preparing them if that national team invite comes.
"Ang mga players natin, hinahasa na natin sa laro ng 3x3. The 12 teams share the same vision at klaro ito sa kanila," he said.
The top two teams in the Final Leg of the President's Cup will earn their slots in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Asia-Pacific Super Quest in April. The top three teams from the Super Quest will secure a berth in the 3x3 World Tour later on this year.
With the league already rolling, Mascarinas said that his Olympic dream for a Philippine 3x3 team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics never wanes, and rather, is burning more than ever.
"There is a window for us to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and we'll do that by racking points and building up our team," he said. "So for us, we're making our gold offering to the country, with the main goal of going to the Olympics."