• I3i tourney begins March 20

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    Former Ateneo de Manila University standout Kiefer Ravena takes on a new challenge as tournament director of the Intercollegiate 3×3 Invitationals (i3i).

    The first day of the competition on March 19 will be at the Xavier School in Mandaluyong while the second day on March 20 will be held at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall in Pasay City.

    Forty-eight teams led by Ateneo de Manila University, San Beda College, National University, Far Eastern University, Letran College and College of Saint Benilde, will be vying for honors and huge prizes in the tourney.

    “Yung 3×3 kasi para sa atin, pang Pinoy talaga,” said Ravena, who represented the country in the FIBA 3×3 All-Stars game in Doha, Qatar last year with teammates Jeron Teng, Ola Adeogun and Bright Akhuiete.

    The competing teams will be divided into eight groups where they will play in a single-round robin format on Day 1 before going to the knockout stage on Day 2. Only 32 teams will move to the next round.

    Rules are patterned after FIBA’s 3×3.

    Ravena said that he wants to give chances to student-athletes to play in a competitive level during the off-season of collegiate basketball tournaments.

    A maximum of three teams per school with four players are eligible to join. Players who were done with their playing years may still participate as long as they are enrolled in college.

    Teams can field in two foreign players but cannot let both play at the same time. There is also no age and height limit for the players.

    Ravena is still looking to get a FIBA accreditation so that the players can get points every time they join i3i.

    Inaugural i3i champions will get P200,000 cash prize of which the P100,000 will go to the school they are representing and the other half is for the players. Second placers will receive P100,000 while third placers gets P50,000, with same split distribution like the champions.

    Ravena plans to expand the program outside Metro Manila to bring in more talents and further strengthen the basketball grassroots development in the country.

    Meanwhile, the country has clinched a spot in the 2016 edition of FIBA 3×3 World Championships slated on October 11 to 15 in Guangzhou, China.

    The inclusion was a result of team rankings in the FIBA 3×3 Federation Ranking, which includes sport, and development criteria that considers the strongest teams as well as the active participation of the country in FIBA’s event.

    In October 2015, Team Manila North composed of Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel, Troy Rosario and Karl Dehesa lost to defending champion NoviSad AlWahda of the United Arab Emirates during the quarterfinals of FIBA 3×3 World Tour in Abu Dhabi.

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