FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2018 – Pool C preview: Can the Philippines defend home court?

The 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will be held in one of the biggest arenas in the world, which is at the Philippine Arena situated in Bocaue, Bulacan.

It’s no surprise that the Philippines was selected to host the 3×3 iteration of the World Cup, as the basketball-crazy nation has been a regular fixture of the said event for quite some time now.

However, despite having the home court advantage, expect our foreign counterparts to try and spoil the party, starting at Pool C:

Russia (3)

Once the bronze medalists in the event’s 2014 iteration, Russia is looking to make it back in the 3×3 summit by fielding in standouts from the national program such as Ilya Aleksandrov, Maksim Dybovskii, Dmitry Korshakov, and Victor Pavlenko.

Russia is well known for their physical brand of play, especially given the length of their players. They love to feed the ball either on the high or low post to get good looks for a score.

Brazil (6)

The Brazilians are looking to make a strong comeback after it last competed in 2014 where they won only one game, slipping all the way down to 21st out of 24 teams.

It’s no surprise as to why Luiz Soriani is the team’s highest ranked player (83rd overall), as basketball runs in the family for the 6’3” swingman. Look for him to lead the charge for Brazil along with standouts like William Evangelista, Marcellus Sarmento, and Carlos Silva Jr.

Mongolia (11)

Coming off from an impressive showing in last month’s FIBA 3×3 Asian Cup, the Mongolians are looking to build off their momentum in the World Cup.

Mongolia is set to make its debut on the world stage with Dulguun Enkhbat leading the charge while being backed up by familiar faces in Delgernyam Davaasambuu, Tserenbaatar Enkhtaivan and Tsenguunbayar Gotov.

Canada (14)

Team Saskatoon is slated to represent the Canadians which is composed of Michael Linklater, Michael Lieffers, Nolan Brudehl and Steve Sir.

Much of Canada’s hopes in making it far in the 3×3 World Cup wrests on the shoulders of diminutive guard Michael Linklater, as the 57th ranked player provides a lot of grit and heart for the Canadian squad.

Linklater and Lieffers are no longer strangers in the 3×3 scene as they won silver medals in the 2014 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final in Japan. Expect these grizzled vets to bring their A-game against their counterparts in Pool C.

Philippines (19)

It’s time to show the world what we got here in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup.

With the basketball-crazy fans cheering for our fellow Filipinos, they surely have their work cut out for them in this tournament.

Gilas stalwarts such as RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and Christian Standhardinger will lead the attack for Philippines while first timer Stanley Pringle is set to bolster the team’s offense.

Familiarity is the key since most of them have played with or against each other – either in prior international competitions or in the PBA. With Standhardinger is nursing a swollen knee, expect Troy Rosario to man the middle for the Gilas.

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