FOUR Philippine teams, two of them powered by PBA stars, and seven foreign squads battle for slots to the Tokyo World Championship in the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters this weekend at the Mega Fashion Hall of SM Megamall
Action starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday after the 12 p.m. celebrity fun games featuring V-League standouts and entertainment personalities, while Sunday games begin at 2 p.m.
Ian Sangalang of San Mig Super Coffee plays for Manila North with Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel of Alaska and Jake Pascual of NLEX.
Manila East has Ateneo players Ousseynou Karbala Gueye, Darryl Henderson Jr., John Adrian Wong and Jerie Marlon Pingoy.
Terrence Romeo of Globalport leads Manila West, which includes Rey Guevarra of Meralco, KG Canaleta of Talk ’N Text and Aldrech Ramos of Air21.
Joshua Irvin Ayo, Adonis Christian Nismal, Karl Kenneth Estrada and Raphael Jude De Vera of the national champion Naga City Titans will play as Manila South.
“In behalf of SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan, we in SBP invite everyone to watch world class 3x3 basketball this Saturday and Sunday,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios. “Let us again show our foreign visitors warm Filipino hospitality and prove to them that basketball is more fun in the Philippines.”
Eric Altamirano, who handled the national team in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, and John Flores of the 2013 Fiba Asia champion 3x3 squad led by Kobe Paras, have been tapped to take charge of the preparation and training of the five Philippine teams.
Foreign challenge will come from Jakarta, Doha, Yogkarta, Medan, Surabaya, Kobe, Xinzhuang and Auckland in the tournament where the top two teams earn passage to the 3x3 Fiba World Tour Final in Tokyo on Oct. 11 to 12.
In Pool A are Jakarta, Manila Central and Manila South; Pool B has Doha, Kobe, Manila West; battling in Pool C Auckland, Xinzhuang and Manila North; while Pool D has Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Manila East.
The top two teams from each group after a round robin will move to the eight-team knockout quarterfinals.
The champions in the event presented by Smart and organized by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas led by president Manny V. Pangilinan with Nike and Samsung as founding partners get $10,000 and the runners-up $5,000.
Day One action has Jakarta facing Medan at 2:10 p.m., Doha vs. Kobe at 2:30 p.m., Auckland vs. Xinzhuang at 2:50 p.m., Yogkarta vs Surabaya at 3:30 p.m., Manila Central vs. Manila South at 3:40 p.m., Kobe vs. Manila West at 4:10 p.m., Xinzhuang vs. Manila North at 4:30, Surabaya vs. Manila East at 4:50 p.m., Manila South vs. Jakarta at 5:20 p.m., Manila West vs. Doha at 5:40 p.m., Manila North vs. Auckland at 6:20 p.m., and Manila East vs. Yogjakarta at 6:40 p.m.