By Jonas Terrado
The chance of the Philippines to send teams in the men’s and women’s division of the 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be known Friday through a special event organized by FIBA in Utsunomiya, Japan.
FIBA had set a cutoff date for Thursday in order for countries to make the top 24 of both divisions and gain a direct slot in the Tokyo Olympics or the OQT which India will host in March 2020.
Direct slots are allotted to host Japan and the three highest ranked nations based on FIBA’s rankings while India, FIBA 3×3 World Cup podium finishers United States, Latvia and Poland along with the next 16-best nations will play in the men’s OQT event.
The same direct slots are handed in the women’s division while India, 3×3 World Cup top finishers China, Hungary and France are assured of berths in the women’s OQT side.
As of last week, the Philippines has an inside track of making the OQT grade in the men’s division while scrambling to gain a nod in the distaff side.
Numerous tournaments have been organized this month by the upstart Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas in order to make the top 24.
Chooks-to-Go was scheduled to complete the sixth and final leg of its fourth tournament known as the MelMac Cup Thursday at Gold’s Gym in Mandaluyong City while the SBP held its Smart 3×3 event at the Meralco Gym.