Chooks-Pilipinas 3×3. Photo by Randolph B. Leongson/ INQUIRER.netChooks-Pilipinas 3×3 still considers its 11th place finish in the 2017 Fiba 3×3 World Cup as an achievement given the short time the country had in preparing for the tournament.The players, meanwhile, are looking at this stint as an eye-opener for the country when it comes to the 3×3 game.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. What ‘missteps’? Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games This Philippine squad was considered as a dream team of sorts, with three second-generation stars bannering the team, but Paras said they paled in comparison with other countries who trot out professional players when it comes to the half-court game.READ: Defense a priority for talented Chooks Pilipinas 3×3“It’s rare that we get to France and rarer to be teammates with Jeron (Teng) and Kiefer (Ravena). We’re lucky that they entrusted us with this lineup, but with our opponents, they do 3×3 for a living. So this is an experience for us for the next 3×3 tournaments. We now know what to do and what we have to improve,” he said.The Philippines finished third in Pool B, finishing the tournament with a 2-2 slate after wins over Romania and El Salvador.But in Paras’ mind, though the country failed to progress from the group stages, this may just set the path for future 3×3 teams going forward.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES READ: Against bigger foes, PH team to bank on teamwork in Fiba 3×3 “Looking at the bigger picture, this tournament is not for nothing. It’s a learning experience for us for the next 3×3 tournaments,” he said.For Chooks-Pilipinas 3×3 coach Anton Altamirano, he believes that the country must find players focused on 3×3 the Philippines wants to compete with the rest of the world.READ: Teng, Ravena aim for bigger prize in 3×3 World Cup“We need to have experienced players. It’s hard to make a new team with players who will play the 3×3 game for the first time and we’re facing teams that have been playing for seven to eight years together. We need to invest on these players so that they’ll get used to it,” he said.And this early, JR Quiñahan has extended a helping hand, especially with the Philippines hosting the 2018 tilt.“I won’t mind if I don’t get chosen as a player. I’m happy to be a practice player so that I can share my experience to the next 3×3 teams,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ View comments Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Recovering De Ocampo vows to be ready come Game 3 “Though it’s still basketball, it’s a different type of game with how physical and how fast the game is,” said Kiefer Ravena. “It opened our eyes on what can be done and what to improve when it comes to 3×3. Having the knowledge of the game is very important so the next teams should be prepared and their minds should be well-conditioned.”READ: Ravena: Chooks-Pilipinas raring to bask in 3×3 limelight FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJeron Teng agreed, noting that though speed may clearly have been on the Filipinos’ side, those were negated by the level of physicality of their bigger European.“It’s super physical. We couldn’t take advantage of our speed because you might get past them, but they would really grab you,” he said.
Having split with coach Pullela Gopichand in April, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal has patched things up with her mentor and has resumed training under the Hyderabadi.Speaking to Mail Today, Saina said it was a case of a minor misunderstanding and that they had put it behind them. “What happened between Gopi Sir and me is a thing of the past. I have resumed training under him,” she said.On his part, all Gopichand said was that things were back to normal. “I will not comment on anything more than this right now,” he said.It is learnt that Saina returned to Hyderabad from China a couple of days ago, after competing in the Sudirman Cup, and expressed her desire to practiceagain under Gopi. The two met for a brief discussion and sorted out their differences.Harvir Singh, Saina’s father, played a big role in making the two settle their differences, according to a Badminton Association of India (BAI) official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.”Harvir was never comfortable with the fact that Saina had left Gopi’s tutelage. In fact, he was against this move from day one. But then it was Saina whoinsisted that she wanted to team up with Bhaskar Babu,” said the official.When queried, Harvir said that he was satisfied with the outcome “Look all I can tell you now is that we are all happy with the way things have worked out,” he said.As a result of the reconciliation, Gopi Chand will be travelling with Saina in the next three major tournaments the Indian is playing in – the ThailandOpen Gold Grand Prix which begins next week, the Singapore Super Series and the Indonesia Super Series.advertisementSaina is the top seed for the event in Thailand, and is training hard for it. “Right now I am training very hard for the three tournaments which aregoing to take place over the next three consecutive weeks. Playing three tournaments in as many weeks is going to be a very arduous task,” she said.Saina said that being the top seed in Thailand Open did not bother her.”There is no pressure on me despite being the top seed,” she said.Another interesting fact is that in both the subsequent Super Series events, Saina is the defending champion. “For me, being the defending champion inSingapore and Indonesia means there is some pressure on me.”I cannot afford to lose in the early rounds. Also the field there is going to be very tough as all the leading Chinese players will be there,” she said.Saina is also happy with the fact that she defeated her long-time nemesis Wang Xin in the quarterfinal of the Sudirman Cup tie against China.”I had lost to her in our two previous matches and it was satisfying that I could beat her in her own backyard,” Saina said.”The Chinese players are anyway very difficult to beat but in front of their home fans, they come under pressure. The sheer expectations of the crowd make it difficult for them to play freely. I think that is what happened to Xin. She seemed to be unnerved by the situation and that’s what gave me an edge.”