THE Philippine Basketball Association carves out history today when it formally launches its 3×3 tournament at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig. All 13 pioneer teams in the opening leg will see action right away in what should be a busy day of three-a-side basketball starting at 2 p.m., November 20.
The tournament is doing away with the usual opening ceremony as the 17-game schedule for the day kicks off right away starting with the battle between Purefoods TJ Titans against highly-touted Fil-Am Brandon Rosser and the Limitless Appmaters in Pool A.
Guest teams Zamboanga Valientes led by veteran and former PBA Best Player of the Conference Mac Cardona, takes on title contender Platinum Karaoke in another Pool A matchup at 2:25 p.m.
The game is played for a period of 10 minutes, with the first team to score 21 points emerging as the winner.
Barangay Ginebra opens action in Pool B as it takes Sista Super Sealers at 2:50 p.m. followed by the game between the Larry Fonacier-led Cavitex Braves against another guest team Pioneer Pro Tibay in Pool C at 3:15 p.m.
Making their respective debuts later in the day are TnT Tropang Giga with Fil-Am Jeremiah Gray in tow, Terrafirma 3×3, NorthPort Batang Pier, Meralco Bolts, and the San Miguel Beermen. The Tropang Giga face the Appmasters at 3:40 p.m. (Pool A), before the Dyip takes the floor opposite the Kings an hour after in Pool B.
Afterwards, the Batang Pier make their turn at 4:55 p.m. against Pioneer Pro Tibay (Pool C), followed by the Bolts against Sista Super Sealers at 6:10 p.m. (Pool B), and finally the Beermen versus the Batang Pier at 6:35 p.m. (Pool C).
The remaining games in the eliminations will be held Sunday, followed shortly by the knockout stage.
The top three teams in Pool A (five teams) and top two teams in Pools B (four teams) and C (four teams) will advance to the knockout playoffs, while the eighth and final berth will be disputed by the third-best team in Pool B and C, respectively in a do-or-die outing. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals are all knockout games.
The champion team in the first leg will receive P100,000, the runner-up gets P50,000, and third place P30,000.