The Philippines has a fighting chance to reach the 3×3 basketball event in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The good showing of Pasig Grindhouse Kings and Balanga-1Bataan Risers in the 2019 FIBA 3X3 World Tour Masters in Doha has made this possible.
Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas said this during a gathering that welcomed back the members of the team last Tuesday at the Holiday Inn-Galleria in Ortigas.
“So far, the last four months have been productive for us. We proved that we can sustain this effort with their performance. We have a fighting chance to be in the top 24 in the world, and make it in the final qualifier for the 2020 Olympics,” said Mascarinas.
Since the start of the year, the Philippines has jumped up in the FIBA 3×3 world rankings from no. 51 to no. 27 after the Chooks-to-Go 3×3 Asia Pacific Super Quest.
The Philippines jumped further to number 31 (1,806,820 points) in the Federation rankings after Pasig and Bataan ended up in fifth and sixth places, respectively, when the Doha event was over.
Bunched in a tough grouping during pool play, Pasig won over home team Katara, 21-14, before scoring a massive upset win over now-world no. 2 Liman, 19-16.
Pasig was then overwhelmed by eventual-champion Riga Ghetto, which remained as world no. 3, in the semifinals, 21-15.
Next month, Pasig will be in the Kunshan Challenger from May 18 to 19, a qualifier to the Chengdu Masters.
In the individual rankings, Taylor Statham overtook Joshua Munzon as the top player in the country.
Statham, who has 349,080 points, is now ranked 114th , now ahead of Munzon (338,520).
Bataan’s Alvin Pasaol reached the top 150 as he is now at 148 with 308,680. Leonard Santillan completes the Filipino cast in the top 250 at 221.
The Philippines now has a chance of making it to the Top 24 in the federation rankings by Nov. 1 to qualify for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Only eight teams will play in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
For the national team pool, FIBA has mandated that only the top 10 players in each country are allowed to compose a team’s lineup.