By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
THE Philippine Basketball Association’s (PBA) planned 3-on-3 tournament is set to take further form in discussions among organizers this week.
Designed to enhance the offering of Asia’s first play-for-pay league, the 3×3 competition has gained the approval of PBA officials and is being angled to be in motion in Season 46.
Alaska Aces governor Richard Bachmann is the tournament chairman, joined by newly named tournament director Eric Altamirano along with fellow committee members Joey Guanio, who is representing the PBA, and Ronnie Magsanoc for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
In a virtual meet-up with the media last week along with PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, Mr. Bachmann said they hope to finalize the details of the league’s 3×3 tournament this week and present them to the board in its next meeting.
“I will iron things out next week (this week) together with Eric. We are tasked by the PBA board to present our plans in our next meeting on Feb. 26,” Mr. Bachmann said.
The league official shared that all the 12 teams in the PBA are expected to field their respective squads for the 3×3 competition, to be joined by at least four guest teams, which will feature direct-hire players.
“For now, basically it’s direct hire. So, the guest teams will have their own players already,” Mr. Bachmann said.
The competition was initially envisioned to have a three-conference format similar to the PBA 5-on-5 offering, but it was abandoned for now because of the situation with the coronavirus pandemic.
In place will be “three or four pocket tournaments” in between conferences for the year.
Mr. Bachmann underscored as important the inclusion of Mr. Altamirano in the PBA’s organizing team to the success of the planned tournament, owing to the latter’s extensive knowledge in 3×3 organization.
Mr. Altamirano, a former PBA player and coach, served as commissioner of the highly successful Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3.
“It’s a no-brainer [to have Altamirano on board]. He’s experienced in running 3×3, so it makes sense to hire somebody who has the experience. It’s a big advantage for us. We will learn a lot from him,” said Mr. Bachmann.
PBA officials said the 3×3 competition is also being aligned with the plans of the SBP on the sport. They are closely coordinating with the local basketball federation as well as the world governing body FIBA.