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3x3 is back in El Salvador
SAN SALVADOR (El Salvador) –3x3 action is back in El Salvador. For the first time in history, this intense modality and Salvadorian basketball were showcased in one of the most important malls in the country, as part of the National Basketball Tour.
Focusing on taking the sport out of its traditional context and transporting it to places accessible to those that are not traditional basketball fans, this strategy was forwarded in the Central American country to inject Salvadorians with excitement for this sport governed by the FIBA National 3x3 Basketball Tour rules.
In the heart of the city, the most visited Salvadorian mall put the spotlight on the techniques, the speed, and intensity of the 3x3, featuring 12 teams built by players of El Salvador's federative leagues.
3x3 is officially back with two dates to be announced for events in strategic places in El Salvador where basketball has never been played before. The idea is to popularize the sport through these initiatives, spike the interest of the people and position basketball as one of the sports that are practiced the most in El Salvador.
The Salvadorian Basketball Federation (FESABAL), with the sports event’s coordination company Dakota Communications and other local sponsors, built a jaw-dropping stage in the mall. Families that were enjoying a regular shopping day would be surprised to see a high-level basketball practice.
“We have set our sights on organizing BKB 3x3 events, particularly now that it’ll be included as an Olympic sport in the 2020 Tokyo Games and there’ll be more people interested in playing. 3x3 is a versatile and quick sport that allows us to organize tournaments anywhere in the country and to take the sport to people that don't regularly attend traditional sports stages. We thank FESABAL for their support in the technical, statistical and ruling areas, allowing players to participate in official and valid games to rank up points to the FIBA 3x3 Ranking," said DaKota Communications Director Francisco Valle to FIBA.basketball.
From beginning to end the event was full of fans that could witness the performance by 12 participating teams in a modality that every day gains more popularity around the world.
“We're very happy for this new opportunity of developing great 3x3 events. We were able to attract a lot of people and they were very curious, which is the most important thing in this modality. What we are trying to do is to increase the interest in practicing basketball in an orderly fashion and we hope that this is just the spark that lights up a new resurgence,” said FESABAL 3x3 Coordinator David Díaz to FIBA.basketball.
"We believe that up until now we have achieved our goals and we hope to have the same number of people on the second date and that this is a new beginning for the national 3x3 modality. This modality already took Salvadorian players to international games such as the 2017 3x3 World Cup in Nantes, France and in 2018 to the Central American and Caribbean Games," he pointed out.
One of FESABAL's greatest objectives is to turn the sport into a social transformation tool, a community-building entity and, above all, something for young people to look up to when they dream about being part of national teams and local leagues in the sport they love, in whatever modality they choose.
"The 3x3 is a very interesting modality because we see the abilities of each one of the members of the team. As young people, we love facing players that are of an elite class. Taking it to malls is a plus because that allows more people to be interested and they start realizing that there are good basketball players in El Salvador,” said Bryan Aguilar, of the U23 Federative League’s Bulldogs.
“I'm thankful to be able to win the first place in this modality. This is our first competition of this sort. And, of course, (I'm also thankful) to FESABAL and the rest of the sponsors that make possible these healthy recreation competitions,” added the player who was also the Tour's champion.
“I'm happy to be able to play again this beautiful tournament and to do it in the 3x3. It's really exciting. The organization was very good, and we also had good sponsors, and everything followed the rules of official international events. We hope they continue to organize tournaments like this so that more teams can continue practicing this modality outside the Tour, and we can continue to play this sport we love so much,” pointed out Leandro Gómez, who played in the 3x3 national team in the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2018, and participated in the 2019 3x3 Tour with his team, Mercenarios. There, he won second place, winning the prize money and sponsorship royalties.
The 3x3 action continues with two more dates in the FESABAL calendar, visiting iconic and central places in El Salvador. This is the beginning of a new era for this modality in Central American lands. This emotion-filled unique sport has its entire future ahead.