THE rescheduling of the UAAP match between Ateneo and De La Salle has opened the way for the original Philippine Under-18 3x3 squad of Arvin Tolentino, Thirdy Ravena, Prince Rivero, and Kobe Paras to reunite for the Fiba 3x3 World Tour Asia Pacific leg.
Three of the original national quartet - La Salle's Rivero and Ateneo's Ravena and Tolentino - will be seeing action in the Eagles-Archers match originally scheduled July 19 but moved one day later to July 20, which is the second day of the Fiba event set at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas had been looking the same players who represented the country in the Fiba Under-18 3x3 World Championship in Jakarta last year.
The schedule will be real tight, but UAAP secretary treasurer Rod Roque insisted the players can still see action in both events since the Ateneo-La Salle contest will be at 11 a.m. while the games of the 3x3 event are expected to start at 2 p.m.
SBP executive director Renauld “Sonny” Barrios had requested the UAAP for permission for the three players to suit up as one of the four Philippine teams in the Asia Pacific leg where slots in the World Tour final set in October in Tokyo are at stake.
Roque said the UAAP has no problem in allowing their players to compete for the national team in the middle of the tournament.
“Wala namang nahagip na game. Ang thrust naman namin sa UAAP is we allow players because it is for their exposure and growth,” Roque explained.
Roque said the UAAP is doing its best to allow their athletes to join international competitions.
Roque added it will ultimately be up to the schools on whether they will all allow their athletes to see action in the national team.
“The UAAP board allows it but it is still up to the schools,” said Roque.