His­tory awaits Phl bas­ket­ball

Mis­sion ac­com­plished for SMS at Chooks-to-Go SBP 3X3 event

The Freeman - - SPORTS - Rico Navarro, Colum­nist

What a week­end it was in­deed for Cebu cage­dom. Check that. Make that Philip­pine bas­ket­ball, the 3X3 sec­tor to be ex­act. After two days of ac­tion at the Chooks-to-Go SBP 3X3 Bas­ket­ball Fes­ti­val held at Sis­ters of Mary School Boys­town and Girl­stown, Phl will most likely set the record for the most num­ber of 3X3 games played in a tour­na­ment reg­is­tered, recorded and logged on to the FIBA 3X3 planet, the FIBA’s sys­tems-based on­line pro­gram that keeps track of all 3X3 ac­tiv­i­ties around the globe and that ranks coun­tries on a points sys­tem.

On Sat­ur­day, 1,111 boys bro­ken into 277 teams played a to­tal of 444 games at the 50 half-courts of SMS- Boys­town in Minglanilla. It was the girls’ turn on Sun­day when 1,588 girls played 3X3 bas­ket­ball at the 36 half-courts of SMSGirl­stown in Tal­isay. The girls were spread to 397 teams and played a to­tal of 508 games.

With this out­come, the his­tor­i­cal event had a com­bined 3,036 par­tic­i­pants, shat­ter­ing the pre­vi­ous FIBA-record of 1,898.

"When we were just in the plan­ning stages of the event, we ex­pected that we will break the record. But we did not ex­pect that it would be by a wide mar­gin," shared Chook­sto-Go pres­i­dent Ron­ald Mas­car­iñas.

"Girl­stown made sure that the record will be owned by the coun­try and the coun­try should be for­ever grate­ful to them," added the ami­able ex­ec­u­tive.

Now, the wait­ing game be­gins for Chooks-to-Go and SBP as FIBA will look through the doc­u­ments and ver­ify if the record has been set.

"Now, we await FIBA 3X3. The SBP is cur­rently in the process of send­ing over the proper doc­u­men­ta­tion to FIBA's of­fices. We are con­fi­dent that we have done ev­ery­thing right and, more im­por­tantly, get the points to qual­ify for the Olympics," said Mas­car­iñas. "And we are propos­ing to make this a yearly event."

Mas­car­iñas stressed that this was be­ing done for love of coun­try. "We at Chooks-to-Go are really elated with the turnout. But this vic­tory is not ours alone. It's the coun­try's achieve­ment," beamed Mas­car­iñas. "I would like to ex­press my heart­felt grat­i­tude to the SBP and the sis­ters from SMS for mak­ing all of this pos­si­ble."

The SBP also ex­pressed its sin­cer­est grat­i­tude to SMS for open­ing its doors to them.

"I'll put some re­li­gious con­text to this nung sin­abi kong di­vine in­ter­ven­tion, di­vine prov­i­dence ito. God works in mys­te­ri­ous ways kasi by ac­ci­dent lang nala­man ng SBP na may gani­tong klaseng num­ber of courts. And we're glad that we're mak­ing his­tory with these young kids," said SBP ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Sonny Bar­rios. "It's very over­whelm­ing and heart­warm­ing that we got into this part­ner­ship with Chooks-to-Go and the Sis­ters of Mary nuns para ma­g­awa natin ito ng samasama."

As of Jan­uary 14 FIBA 3X3 rank­ings, the Philip­pines ranked 55th in men’s divi­sion, 54th in the women’s divi­sion, 55th in Un­der 18 Men and 36th in Un­der 18 Women. The coun­try’s rank­ing is ex­pected to rise with the stag­ing of the week­end’s 3X3 games.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

The men and women be­hind the world record at­tempt for the big­gest 3X3 bas­ket­ball event have all the rea­sons to smile after the highly suc­cess­ful Chooks-to-Go SBP 3X3 Fes­ti­val at the Sis­ters of Mary School-Boys­town and Girl­stown cam­puses over the week­end.

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