The competition, which aims at selecting the CNMI’s representatives for the 3×3 tournament in the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu in December, is divided into four parts. The first leg will be held on Saipan from Sept. 5 to 9, while the second will take place on Tinian Sept. 16 and 17. Rota’s own tournament will be held on Sept. 23 and 24 and the winners in all first three legs will play in the semis and finals set for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at the Civic Center Court in Susupe.
Rota and Tinian are included in the event as per requirements of FIBA, which mandates its members having qualifying tournaments for any regional/international competition to open the competition to all stakeholders. MIBF is coordinating with Rota and Tinian officials to facilitate the islands’ respective tournaments.
Only teams competing in the adults division will be considered for the selection of the squad that will represent the CNMI to the Mini Games. The champion team (men’s division only) in the final leg will earn the ticket to Vanuatu that will host the Mini Games from Dec. 4 to 15. The 3×3 tournament will be held during the second week of the event or from Dec. 11 to 14 at a new venue being constructed at Korman 2.
The CNMI is one of the 11 countries that immediately committed to send a team to the Mini Games despite the late inclusion of the sport (last month) to the calendar of events of the quadrennial meet. The Commonwealth will be joined by the host, Fiji, Guam, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Solomon Islands, and American Samoa.
Besides the 3×3 basketball, other sports to be contested in Vanuatu are archery, athletics, beach volleyball, boxing, football, rugby 7s, judo, golf, karate, netball, tennis, and weightlifting, and table tennis. The CNMI will also send athletes to golf, rugby 7s, and athletics competitions.
Meanwhile, any companies/organizations that want to support the 3×3 Hoop Fest and help MIBF defray the costs of holdings the qualifiers can contact MIBF general secretary Elias Rangamar at 234-6672 and 287-6347 for more information.