ATENEO de Cebu’s Andrew Velasco and Alex Visser, the University of Cebu’s Alen Pelegrino and National University’s Rhayyan Amsali will be representing the Philippines in the Fiba Asia U18 3x3 Championship in Cyberjaya, Malaysia on May 26-28.
Joe Lipa, the tournament head of the Under Armour 3x3 Southeast Asia competition, which helped determine the team’s composition, confirmed the news.
SPIN.ph had previously reported the inclusion of Hope Christian School’s Harvey Pagsanjan, but the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) went instead with UC’s Pelegrino, who was part of the Baby Webmasters team that won the Under Armour pocket tournament last weekend.
The SBP management committee along with Executive Director Sonny Barrios said they evaluated the 16-player pool before coming up with a decision in time for the deadline of submission of lineups on Friday.
However, the inclusion of Pelegrino has hardly appeased UC team manager Atty. Baldomero Estenzo, who hinted that Pelegrino may not join the Malaysia-bound squad, saying it's 'all-or-nobody' for the champion Baby Webmasters side.
“I’m disappointed, to say the least. It’s all or nobody for the UC team. I don’t want to be unfair to any member of the team,” said Estenzo, who was lobbying for the entire UC team to represent the country in the aforementioned Fiba tournament.
But Barrios expressed hope that all parties would act like “gentlemen” regarding their selection.
“The selection has to go through the right process. Hindi naman pwedeng magigising na lang ako at sabihin ko na ito na ang national team. I had to talk with the management committee first. Rest assured that we would send a team that would best represent the country,” Barrios said.
“But I understand that we can’t please everyone with whatever decision we make. Just like when we announced the Gilas team. There will always be corners that would argue bakit wala si ganito o si ganyan na mas magaling naman si ganito. I understand that but like I always say, I just hope that we can all be sportsmen and gentlemen and accept the decision,” added Barrios.