THE Ateneo-De La Salle showdown this season stands in the way of the celebrated Philippine team in last year’s Fiba 3x3 World Championship reuniting for this year’s Fiba 3x3 World Tour Asia Pacific leg to be hosted by the country.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is requesting the UAAP board to allow Arvin Tolentino, Thirdy Ravena, and Prince Rivero to reunite and suit up for one of the four Philippine teams in the Fiba 3x3 World Tour Asia Pacific leg to be hosted by the country on July 19-20.
The three along with Kobe Paras were part of the Philippine team that competed in the Fiba Under-18 3x3 World Championship in Jakarta last year as the champions in Asia.
In the hope of forming the best Philippine teams possible in the event, SBP executive director Renauld ‘Sonny’ Barrios said they will ask the UAAP to allow Tolentino, Ravena, and Rivero to play once again in the 3x3 event to be held at the SM Megamall.
The problem, however, is that the competition will run smack with the much-awaited match-up between rivals the Blue Eagles and the Green Archers in the UAAP, which was brought back to its original schedule of July 19 instead of August 2 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Tolentino and Ravena are playing for the Ateneo Blue Eagles while Rivero is in the De La Salle Green Archers lineup for this season.
“We have such request and the board will determine if such request can be accommodated,” said Barrios.
The winner of the Asia-Pacific leg will have a chance to qualify for the Fiba 3x3 World Tour finals set in October in Tokyo.
Ateneo team manager Epok Quimpo said they will wait for the UAAP’s decision on SBP’s request of having Tolentino and Ravena play in the 3x3 Asia Pacific leg.
“Personally, I want Arvin and Thirdy to play,” Quimpo said. “They will represent the Philippines and will also get an experience competing. Pero ‘yung problema natin, sumabay sa Ateneo and La Salle tapos pareho pang ginagamit.”
“Given na si executive director Sonny Barrios have a request, I hope that the UAAP can do something because if you win this one, you qualify for something so sayang,” said Quimpo.
While Tolentino, Ravena, and Rivero are still unsure to join, Barrios said Paras is expected to fly in from the United States to play in the 3x3 event. Paras made waves in last year’s Under-18 world championship by winning the dunk contest after leaping over a motorcycle.
“We expect Kobe Paras to fly from the States and be part of this event. We are coordinating closely with his dad Benjie,” said Barrios.
Calvin Abueva will also play for one of the Philippine teams in the event to be competed in by 12 teams.