The Belize Basketball Federation (BBF) is partnering with Bowen & Bowen Ltd, bottlers of Sprite soft drink and Belikin Beer, to launch the first national 3×3 men’s basketball tournament, with senior and under-18 categories.
Belikin Brewery will sponsor the senior division, while Sprite will sponsor the U-18 category, with a total budget of $35,000 for the tournament, to cover the cost of officiating, transportation, and equipment.
Bowen & Bowen’s Sales/Marketing Manager for the soft drink Division, David Craig, and David Vasquez, of Belikin Brewery, joined BBF President Paul Thompson in announcing that the Sprite-Belikin national 3×3 basketball tour will be held in every town across Belize.
The tournament gets underway early next month, and will be played on streets, in parking lots or basketball courts throughout the country from July through August.
Each district basketball association will coordinate the tournaments in their district. Registration forms will be available at the associations’ offices and at Bowen & Bowen’s offices in all the districts. Teams of four players and a coach can register to participate. FIBA’s basic 3×3 rules will apply.
The district champions will advance to national finals to be played in Belize City. The tour will incorporate a slam-dunk contest to be held in each district as part of the tour.
Sprite and Belikin Beer will also be sponsoring the purchasing of mobile basketball systems, which can be moved to each district for the games.
Thompson explained that the senior men’s champions will automatically qualify to participate in the FIBA 3×3 world tour, to be held in New York in August 18-19 this year. The top two teams from that tour will advance to the World Tour finals in Miami in September.
Belize’s much-improved performance at the U-18 level in regional tournaments such as COCABA and Centrobasket has caused FIBA to select Belize to participate in the FIBA 3×3 World Championships to be held in Seville, Spain, from September 27-30.
This national tour will allow the BBF officials to see who are the country’s best 3×3 players, and a selection committee will choose a national under-18 3×3 team to represent Belize in Seville
For Belize qualify to participate in these international FIBA events, the local federation has to organize 3×3 basketball tournaments in Belize.
FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, has been aggressively promoting 3×3 basketball as a new category of basketball, which will become an official Olympic sport for either the 2016 or 2020 Games.
In the 3×3 variation of the game, instead of teams having five players on a full-sized court, each team has only three players and one substitute playing on a half court; the first team to score 21 pts wins.
It’s a much faster paced game, with only two 5-minute halves, and a one-minute intermission and no time outs. Each player is allowed only four personal fouls and each team is allowed only four fouls per period before they will be in foul penalties.
The ball is inbounded under the basket, and when a shot clock is used, the time limit is only 12 seconds, rather than 25 seconds as in the full court game.