ORGANIZERS for the 1st Uratex Women International 3×3 basketball championship believe on the potential of Filipina players and the tournament slated February 4-5 at the Robinsons Magnolia in Quezon City is just a start for a much bigger women’s basketball event in the country.
Uratex Managing Director and head of the organizing committee Peachy Medina said what motivates her to organize the event –dubbed Manila Hussle 3×3 — is her love for the game and passion to help local basketball players to be developed and reached their potential.
“My exposure and experiences as team manager for two teams in the Women’s National Basketball League gives me more time to be with the players and privileged to be invited in two international tournaments. So sabi ko why not bring the action in the Philippines para naman makita ang kakayahan natin and the same time mas matuto tayo,” said Medina who led the officials launching of the event in an elaborate media conference on Thursday at the Summit Hotel in Greenhills, San Juan.
He also announced that the event will be an annual program for Uratex Philippines.
“This tournament aims to deliver a highly-quality event featuring elite women basketball. In the process, we hope to hype up the growing sport of women’s 3×3 basketball in the world, uplifting all its passionate players, coaches, and fans, while delivering a great fan and player experience,” added Medina, who was joined by SMART Sports Director Jude Torcuato and Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas Executive Director Sonny Barrios.
Several members of the Philippine Team that won back-to-back Southeast Asian Games title led by Janine Pontejos, Trina Guytingco, and Khate Castillo will compete under the banner of the Lady Macbeth Riots in the tournament co-presented by Uratex and SMART in cooperation of SBP.
Other participating local teams are Uratex Dream Philippines, Uratex Tibay Philippines, Discovery Perlas, Angelis Resort and Army Altama. They are up against Japanese elite squads Owls.Exe Kujukuri and Zoos Tokyo, Koreans squads 1Eyehansol and G2L2 along with Jumpshot Singapore and Shoot It Dragon of Thailand.
Medina said the champion in the tournament will received US$3,000 plus P50,000 gift certificate from sponsoring TITAN, while runner-up will take home US$2,000 and US$1,000, respectively.
Other local players to watch are Ateneo’s Kacey Dela Rosa, who takes the place of Jack Animam, who decided to play professionally in Europe. Among the foreign players expect to get the attention of local fans are Japan’s top 2 3×3 players Aoi Katsura and Yuka Maeda. They will be joined by Spain’s influencer Ari Geli.
“Well, it should benefit them (Filipina cagers). The more tournament they play, not just practice games, the better for the team,” said Barrios.
“Now, it’s very encouraging that we have an international event. We have four foreign countries participating with name players at that. So, malaking bagay yun. Makakatulong sa ating national team,” he added.
To spice up the event, a dunk contest and 2-point shooting will be held with volleyball icon Alyssa Valdez and basketball star JayJay Helterbrand to serve as judges.
“Very privileged to support this endeavor. Magandang development ito for women’s basketball after winning back-to-back SEAG championship,” added Barrios.