The year 2021 was a banner year for Philippines Sports as our very own Hidilyn Diaz won the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal. Since then, the country’s sports fans have been on the lookout for the growing and strengthening Pinay athletes that are representing the country and bringing home pride and medals.
A Basketball Nation
In the Philippines where basketball is played almost anywhere, it is considered one of Filipinos’ national sports. Sports fans either at the community, school, or professional level flock to different venues game after game to cheer on their favorite teams and take pride in their win.With basketball being one of the most played games in the Philippines, the country is still thirsty for receiving international recognition such as one from the Olympics.
While these basketball leagues feature mostly men, women basketball athletes are recently starting to gain attention once again when the 2020 Tokyo Olympics officially welcome the 3x3 basketball format featuring both men and women ballers. 3x3 is an exciting format. it is fast-paced, bite-sized, encourages the spontaneous formation of teams at the grassroots level. This format is seen grow the number of people playing basketball. It can be played competitively, even at the highest levels, but can also be played recreationally.
This year, a new level of excitement awaits basketball fans as Uratex and Smart, together with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), present Manila Hustle 3x3, the first Philippine Women 3x3 International invitational Basketball Game. Featuring the Philippines’ pride, Janine Pontejos, who has played in the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup, and ruled the 2-point shootout contest there, sports fans will surely have a great time watching her and other top players go head to head with celebrated women basketball players from Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Spain and China.
“We need both to cultivate talent and to develop the sports. Playing with International teams will help us compare and contrast our brand of basketball with theirs. There is much learning to be made from that,” the Tournament Director and Uratex Managing Director, Ms. Peachy Medina, shared.
Watch Out for the Excitement
Manila Hustle 3x3 will be happening this February 4 to 5, 2023, at Robinsons Magnolia, Quezon City with live streaming on Puso Pilipinas Facebook Page. A total of 12 teams from five Asian countries are set to compete in this first invitational 3x3 women's basketball game, and it's free for sports fans to watch.
“We are very optimistic that the number of 3x3 leagues across the country will grow because of this event. We’re also hoping that through this league, we will inspire more athletes to play this format, and sports fans to throw support to our women ballers across the globe. Giving a stage for women ballers can only help the sport grow. It is beneficial to society. Women’s sports are one of the great vehicles of women's empowerment”, Medina said.