THE UAAP 3X3 basketball tournament will make its much-awaited debut today at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.
There are seven men’s teams and eight women’s squads competing in the one-day 3×3 competition, which is introduced as a demonstration sport for this season.
“There is potential that the sport can be elevated into a regular event as soon as next season,” said Far Eastern University athletic director Mark Molina.
The one-day tournament has divided into two brackets, with Group A comprising of Ateneo, Adamson University, De La Salle and University of the East, while FEU, National University and University of the Philippines are in Group B.
University of Santo Tomas will not field a men’s team for the inaugural edition.
Pool play will start at 10 a.m., with the Fighting Maroons, bannered by Fiba 3×3 U-18 World Cup veteran Juan Gomez de Liaño, take on the Falcons.
Juan Gomez De Liaño was with the Philippines team that made it to the quarterfinals, losing to eventual champion Belgium last year in Chengdu, China.
Having teamed up with AJ Edu, Rhayyan Amsali and Encho Serrano with the national 3×3 squad, Juan Gomez De Liaño hopes to bring his vast World Cup experience to the UAAP.
Games will actually begin with the women’s division, with all eight schools participating, at 9 a.m. between Adamson University and UE.
In the distaff side, Group A is composed of Ateneo, Adamson University, De La Salle and UE, while Group B has FEU, NU, UP and UST.
The top two teams per group after the single-round elimination will make it to the knockout semifinals, where the top team in Group A will take on the No. 2 team in Group B, while the Group B topnotcher will play the second-best finisher in Group A.