MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Basketball Association is making an innovating change for its upcoming 41st season as the league will introduce the PBA Women’s 3-on-3 Invitational Tournament, they announced on Thursday, September 24.
New PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa tells Rappler the 3-on-3 tournament for women could possibly attract new fans.
“The PBA is looking to expand and one of the most exciting areas we’ve seen is in women’s basketball,” said Narvasa.
The announcement comes during a spike in popularity and success in women’s basketball domestically.
The Philippine women’s national basketball team – better known as Perlas Pilipinas – recently played well enough in the 2015 FIBA Asia women’s championship that they advanced to the top tier competition of the tournament, with a chance to win a gold medal in 2017.
The success of the national squad was closely followed by media in the Philippines and celebrated by the country’s citizens.
“With it comes a new set of fans different from the PBA,” Narvasa said about the new tournament. “Yet we can make it a distinct and unique product for the PBA.”
The PBA announced that the 3-on-3 matches will have a running time of 10 minutes or will end when one team scores 15 points. In case of overtime, the first team to score two points wins the game.
There will be a maximum of 8 teams – split into two brackets – in the tournament for a single-round robin, to be followed by a semifinals crossover and a best-of-3 finals.
A team can have a limit of 4 female players who are aged 18 to 25 years old and have already played “competitive organized basketball,” which the league describes as “varsity, corporate, or amateur players.”
“The 3-on-3 is our test market. At the onset, there seems to be a lot of interest already, so we will work to make this exciting,” Narvasa told Rappler.
The PBA’s announcement also indicates that a cash prize of 50,000 awaits the champion team. Games for the women’s 3-on-3 invitational tournament will be held every Wednesday and Friday in respective game venus.
The 41st PBA season opens on October 18, Sunday. – Rappler.com