May 29, 2017 (MANILA, Philippines) – This past Saturday, 27th, 2017, a total of 8 teams comprised of finalists from the four previous Qualifiers (Cebu, Manila A, Manila B, Last Chance) squared off at the Red Bull Reign Finals at the Nagtahan Bridge Court, Pasig River, in Manila. In the end, the Bull Squad took home the victory and the chance to represent the Philippines at the Red Bull Reign World Finals.
Red Bull Reign is Red Bull’s signature 3×3 basketball tournament that pits hopefuls against one another in a high-endurance, offensive-driven battle that ends with over 15 countries sending their best to compete at the World Finals in Washington DC, USA.
The rules are simple: the team that scores the most overall points in each round will advance until one team remains.
The final eight (8) teams consisted of:
- Cove MNL F&B
- San Remegio Properties
- Team Santa Rosa
- Balandra Squad
- G3 Apparel
- Bull Squad
- Obladi Oblada
The afternoon witnessed a series of exciting round robin-style matches that showcased a number of styles on the court. The semi-finals saw three rounds of intense back-to-back contests between Team Santa Rosa, Bull Squad, Balandra Squad, and G3 Apparel, which consisted of Eric Tai and previous Red Bull King of the Rock Philippine Representative, Willie Miller. Team Santa Rosa and the Bull Squad emerged victorious and advanced to the finals with a total score of 83 to 67.
Following a hotly competitive match, the Bull Squad took home the Philippine Championship, with a final score of 27 to 20. The team consists of Filipino-Canadian PBA hopefuls, Clay Crellin and Glenn Gravengard, Kitt Paolo Balmori, and Team Captain, Obinna Ezeike.
“The semi-finals were the biggest challenge”, Crellin shares. “We started at 8:30 in the morning, so the other teams had the advantage because they got to rest.”
The Bull Squad came into the semi-finals after having started the day by conquering the Last Chance Qualifiers in the morning. In spite of playing at a physical disadvantage, the Bull Squad managed to dig deep and power through the semi-finals and finals in order to cement their place as the first-ever Red Bull Reign Philippine Champions.
“We were hungry”, said Gravengard. “We wanted it more.”
The Last Chance Qualifier and Finals were held at the Nagtahan Bridge Court, Pasig River, Manila. The event was attended by members of the local Barangay, who had supported Red Bull’s efforts to clean up their portion of the Pasig River the weekend before. In addition, Red Bull Doodle Art finalists, Rojan Elmo Barcelon and Manuel “Meow Meow” Liwanag, created murals at the base of the bridge, just across the street from the court.
“I’m very happy to have Red Bull here and its activities,” said Barangay Chairwoman Purisima P. Albasin. ”I’m very proud of my court and it really brings a lot to my Barangay and the people who live here.”
PBA veteran Vince Hizon served as director, overseeing each back-to-back match-up throughout the entire duration of the tournament. “This has been incredible. 3×3 is a great way for teams and individuals to really improve their skill and hone their craft. I’m happy for the Bull Squad, they really are the best team to represent the country at the World Finals.”
The Bull Squad advances to the Red Bull Reign World Finals in Washington DC, USA, later this year. The Philippine Champions had a simple message to send to their international competition: “You better watch out, we’re coming!”