December 12, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

FIBA 3x3 Word Cup in France gets under way

TOP “streetballers” in the world are currently in Nantes, France, for the 2017 FIBA 3x3 World Cup.

A five-day event, the tournament will have competing teams, including one from the Philippines, dispute the coveted 3x3 world title and earn for them the distinction as the best in the basketball discipline, recently added in the Olympic program by the International Olympic Committee.

Serbia is the defending men’s 3x3 champion and is opening its title defense in Pool A for the preliminary round.

In pool action, the Serbian team, boasting of number one-ranked player Dusan Domovic Bulut, will go up against Russia, Andorra, Egypt and Puerto Rico.

The Serbians were off to go a start, beating 16th-seeded Egypt, 17-15, and eighth-seeded Russia, 20-17, on opening day early yesterday.

In Pool B are the Philippines, bannered by collegiate standouts Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng, US collegiate campaigner Kobe Paras and Philippine Basketball Association veteran JR Quiñahan, Slovenia, Romania, host France and El Salvador.

“We are expecting a tough road for us in the 3x3 World Cup but that would not stop us from competing since we are representing our country,” said Mr. Ravena before departing for the competition.

The Philippine team begins its campaign early Monday morning, taking on Romania and France first.

In Pool C are Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Qatar and Sri Lanka while in Pool D are the United States, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Indonesia and South Korea,

In the women’s category are: Hungary, Germany, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan (Pool A); France, Switzerland, Spain, Turkmenistan and Venezuela (Pool B); the Netherlands, Ukraine, China, Japan and Australia (Pool C); and Italy, defending champion Czech Republic, Argentina, Bahrain and Andorra (Pool D).

Happening from June 17-21, the FIBA 3x3 World Cup will have the top two teams from each pool advancing to the quarterfinals. The knockout rounds, including the finals, will take place on the final day of the tournament. -- Michael Angelo S. Murillo