TALISAY — Records were shattered on Sunday as Manok ng Bayan-Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas 3x3 claimed the honor of staging the biggest Fiba-endorsed 3x3 event at the Sisters of Mary School Girlstown.
A total of 1,656 players registered in the FIBA 3X3 play app and participated in the under-18 tournament.
The Girlstown turnout hiked the total to 3,043 participants, adding to the 1,387 from Boystown who played on Saturday, to eclipse the previous Fiba high of 1,898.
"When we were just in the planning stages of the event, we expected that we will break the record. But we did not expect that it would be by a wide margin," said Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas, who graced the second of the two-day event together with Gilas Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio, and ambassadors Kobe Paras and Thirdy Ravena.
Games were held on 36 courts inside the compound in the event headed by SBP's Mark Solano, Ryan Betia, Xander Gubat, Region XIII director Jerry Abuyabor, and SMS athletic director Van Parmis.
"Girlstown made sure that the record will be owned by the country and the country should be forever grateful to them," added Mascarinas, who gave a P100,000 donation to the school.
Team Leg 6-G1, composed of twins Gleafel and Gleagen Janier, Aianna Apostol, and Desiree Salvado, bested Team Leg 4-G of Jane Madria, Jenifer Mahusay, Jenny Amor and Ivy Garnica in the finals.
SBP is hoping that all of the points accumulated from the two-day event would boost the Philippines' Fiba ranking in 3x3 basketball.
"All the ranking points will definitely help the federation's 3x3 world ranking for us to fulfill our Olympic dream," said Solano.
"No words can describe ang nararamdaman namin ngayon lalo na pag nakita ko yung mga ngiti ng mga bata. Sobrang fulfulling para sa amin," added Betia, a native of Cebu City.
The federation now awaits the official verdict from Fiba if the record is indeed now claimed.
"Now, we await Fiba 3X3. The SBP is currently in the process of sending over the proper documentation to FIBA's offices. We are confident that we have done everything right and, more importantly, get the points to qualify for the Olympics," said Mascariñas, who also hinted at more possible stagings of these basketball events in the future
"We are proposing to make this a yearly event," the amiable executive said.