THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) expects to get at least four new teams when it holds its first-ever 3×3 tournament sometime in March.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said the four new teams will join the 12 regular-member teams in the planned 3×3 competition to be held before the league opens its 46th season on April 9.“
“We’re hoping we can hold this 3×3 competition before the opening of our 46th season. Bago yun 5-on-5, eto munang 3×3 sa March,” said Marcial during the “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom last Thursday.
Marcial claimed the staging of the 3×3 will be good for the players.
“We expect at least 16 teams in the 3×3 — 12 regular member-teams in the PBA and four new teams. With five players per team, that’s about 80 players,” said Marcial during his first appearance in the weekly sports program of TOPS.
“Mas madaming players ang makakapag-laro at mabibigyan ng trabaho kahit dito sa PBA 3×3,” explained Marcial.
Marcial also said allowing at least four new teams in the PBA 3×3 will be better than accepting them as regular members outright.
“Hindi muna namin iniisip yun expansion, na magdagdag ng bagong teams, lalo na sa panahon ngayon na may pandemic.”
Also being shelved indefinitely this year are the PBA D-League, which serves as an affiliate of the league and the Batang PBA tournament.
“Wala pang katiyakan kung kelan maitutuloy yun PBA D-League,” Marcial told the weekly gathering of editors, reporters and photographers of the country’s leading national tabloids.
“As you know, most of the teams and players in the PBA D-League come from the collegiate ranks. Pero dahil nga sa pandemic, wala pang UAAP,pati NCAA sa ngayon kaya sa tingin ko, malabo pa din ang D-League ngayong taon.”
“Pati Batang PBA, wala din muna. We miss this tournament dahil grassroot program ito ng PBA, pero yun nga, bawal pa lumabas ang mga bata. Pati mga magulang, sigurado hindi papayagan maglaro ang kanilang mga anak.”
The weekly public service program of TOPS is is being sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB).