THE PBA 3x3 is a go, with the board approving the staging of a three-conference tournament in its inaugural season this year if the league gets an approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Tournament chairman Dickie Bachmann said the league is looking at 18 teams including the 12 current PBA teams for the first season of the 3x3 league that will totally be separate from the regular 5-on-5 tournament.
Bachmann said the PBA 3x3 is prepared for a closed-circuit or bubble setting for the 2021 season with a non-bubble legs being held every Saturdays.
“Basically, I explained and got an approval from the board regarding the format for this year. Since it’s a pandemic season, we will go with a three-conference league wherein there is five legs and one grand finals per conference. That’s a non-bubble,” said Bachmann after Friday’s board meeting.
“If the IATF said na kailangan ng bubble, we are also prepared. We will have a 13-day bubble tournament which is basically tatlong two-day legs and isang two-day na grand final,” said Bachmann.
Bachmann said the 3x3 committee is now crafting guidelines on the recruitment of players, which will be on a direct-hire basis.
“Verbally, we already told the governors to talk to the team managers already and start looking already,” said Bachmann.
Bachmann said the 12 PBA members teams have committed to the 3x3 league, with the other squads still subject for approval. Although the clubs outside the 12 member teams will be technically called ‘guest teams,’ they are eligible to win a championship.
“So far, 18 teams. May mga iba na kinakausap. Pero it may reach 18,” said Bachmann.
Being a separate tournament from the 5-on-5, Bachmann added the PBA is considering holding the 3x3 games at a different venue depending on the health situation of the country.
“We are looking at SMX maybe through an X-deal or also if pinayagan ng IATF, puwede na sa mall with strict protocols and guidelines, then pwede na sa mall,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann said the PBA 3x3 league will follow the standards of Fiba with the champion team winning a prize money and gaining points from the international federation.
Eric Altamirano will serve as the PBA 3x3 director.