JAN Carlos Cifra and Benjie Zamora Peralta can call themselves professional three-point shooters.
The two winners of the Kings of Threes Three-Point Shoot Out Championship were given professional licenses by the Games and Amusements Board after the government agency signed a resolution allowing the professionalization of three-point shootout competitions in the country.
Cifra and Peralta were two winners in the recent Kings of Three monthly finals with the two hitting more than 17 threes, a requirement issued by the GAB in order to qualify them as professional three-point shooters.
Cifra is no stranger to competing in shootouts and is actually a Guinness World Record holder for most threes made in a minute with 26.
“For enjoyment lang naman at ininvite din ako kasi dahil doon sa Guinness,” said the 25-year-old Centro Escolar University graduate. “Nung bata pa lang ako, ganun na po ako at tinuturuan po ako ng papa ko.”
For his part, the 39-year-old Peralta said he has been competing in many three-point shootouts in past, and he is happy with the GAB’s initiative to professionalize three-point competitions.
“Hilig po talaga. Marami na ako sinasalihan na competition, mostly ganito,” said Peralta, a tricycle driver from Caloocan.
“Siyempre masaya kasi sa tagal-tagal ko naglalaro, ngayon lang ako nagka-lisensya. “Maipagmamalaki ako sa mga kaibigan ko, hindi katulad dati na nakilala lang ako pag may competition.”
Peralta said winning three-point shootouts is also not easy.
“Sa three-point shootout, pulsuhan talaga. Iba ‘yung shooter, iba ‘yung pulso,” said Peralta.
Cifra and Peralta recently received their professional three-point shooter license at the GAB office in Makati City.
Paul Elauria, president of Kings of Threes organizer Subic Bay Development and Industrial Estate Corporation (Sudeco), believes three-point shootouts can become big due to the changing landscape of basketball in the world.
“Kapag nakita niyo kung sino ang top two sa NBA (in terms of three-point shots), Houston and Golden State. ‘Yung evolution ng basketball, ang tingin ko, for the Philippines to reclaim its basketball glory, we have to specialize in three-point shooting,” said Elauria.
GAB chairman Baham Mitra is happy with the initiative of Kings of Threes to hold three-point competitions that he said will encourage people from all walks of life to play basketball.
“Kami, we are very happy about the start of Kings of Threes. GAB is just here to assist them in any way and encourage them to influence people from all walks of life to join. May human factor na hindi kailangan malaki ka para maging magaling ka,” said Mitra.
Mitra also wants to regulate three-point shooting contests in the country to protect the interest of the participants.
“If the public interest is at stake, it will be good if GAB will be there. It adds credibility and integrity to any league,” said Mitra.