WITHOUT a major Asian tournament to play for this year, members of Perlas Pilipinas team will have to wait until next year’s Southeast Asian Games and the FIBA Asia Championship before seeing the entire team compete against the bets in the region.
For now, head coach Patrick Aquino had to select the best four players from his team to compete in the FIBA 3 x 3 World Cup.
“As of now wala (tournament) kasi hindi na kami included sa Asian Games,” wrote Aquino to FOX Sports Philippines. “Wala kami mga tournament na sinalihan. Kung kasali kami sa Asian Games, sana kasma rin kami sa Jones Cup this July.”
Had the Blackwater Perlas Pilipinas-backed cagebelles were included in the Asian Games, it will also be a god preparation for next year’s SEA Games to be held in Manila.
“It could have been a good preparation for the SEA Games and FIBA Asia tournament,” added Aquino.
The best consolation bis team could get would happen this June as Aquino had to prepare four of his players for the FIBA World Cup 3 x 3 tournament to be held at the Philippine Arena.
Composing our 3 x 3 squads are forward Afril Bernardino, former MVP of the UAAP, guard Gemma Miranda, center Jack Danielle Animam, member of the Mythicval Selection in the recent UAAP tournament, and shooter Janine Pontejos.
For Aquino and his cagebelles, first time is always the sweetest.
“This is the first time na nakasali tayo sa FIBA World 3 x 3 and mabigat and makakalaban natin dito na grupo,” added Aquino.
The Pinay 3 x 3 team will be grouped with Spain, the Netherlands, Hungary and Germany.
For Aquino, the experience of playing against these powerhouse teams from Europe would be a greta learning process.
“We are underdogs here kasi nga first time, tapos yung mga kalaban namin lagi ng sumasali sa 3 x 3 and may program pa sila doon. We just have to play Pilipinas basketball again,” wrote Aquino.