Last June 30th, 2018, sixteen teams, finalists from the previous Qualifiers (Manila A, Manila B, Last Chance), went head-to-head at the Red Bull Reign Finals at Taft Food by the Court in Pasay City. Phenom emerged as the tournament winners and earned the chance to represent the Philippines at the Red Bull Reign World Finals.
Red Bull Energy Drink remains true to its commitment to promote sports featuring the “new generation”and “new breed”of athletes. Red Bull Reign presented a high-endurance, offense-driven 3×3 basketball tournament with a twist, Red Bull Reign saw 16 finalists battle it out for the chance to represent the Philippines at the Red Bull Reign World Finals in Washington D.C. later this year.
The event kicked off with the Last Chance Qualifier that enabled Phenom to advance to the Finals later that afternoon. Over the course of the day, each team collided in a series of round-robin style matches, intensified by familiar players like former NCAA player from Lyceum of the Philippines – Seraj Elmejrab of team PACITA, former UAAP player from UST Growling Tigers – John Jordan Sta. Ana of team Phenom, and Senior Board Member of Ilocos Norte – Matthew Marcos Manotoc of LGU.
“It’s super robust. Everywhere, you have people playing basketball – old to young, good to not very good, it’s always been a very healthy basketball scene,” says Manotoc. “Probably one of the most vibrant in the world, very proud of the basketball scene, and Red Bull Reign is just a testament to that.”
“As a tournament, Red Bull Reign is very much representative of what Red Bull is as a brand,” said Al Delos Reyes, Red Bull sports consultant. “Red Bull is an energy drink and we want to push it in conjunction with our vision of promoting sports in a new-generation and new-breed way,” he added, referring to the to the rules of the tournament which follows the FIBA rule, but given a twist with the team that scores the most overall points in each round progressing leading to the finals.
The final 16 teams consisted of LGU, PACITA, SOULDIER, Kervy, LA, Team Kate, Better Basketball PH, VVEstrada, Sy Men, HumKins, Phenom, King of Hoops, Evogen, Tough Gear C, Tough Gear A and 7 Eleven. Over the course of the day, each team collided in a series of round-robin style matches.
Red Bull Reign progressed into the semifinals, which saw three rounds of high-octane basketball actions in back-to-back contests. Despite delays due to the rainy weather throughout the day, Phenom and LGU advanced to the finals, tallying scores of 46 and 50.
The teams collided on the court for the finals with Phenom standing triumphant in the end as the champion with a score of 10-7. The champion team was composed of team captain Carl Kenneth Sumalacan, Jarrold Flores, John Rom Alvarado, and John Jordan Sta. Ana.
Following another successful staging of the Red Bull Reign, tournament organizers touted the event and said it something the brand is looking at doing long-term.
“What’s good about Red Bull Reign is that it opens another door for amateurs who, even though haven’t been part of any basketball professional leagues, get the chance to represent the Philippines,” said Mr. Delos Reyes.
Philippine Basketball Association Vince “The Prince”Hizon served as tournament director. The former PBA star was very satisfied with how Red Bull Reign tournament has been since its inception a year ago. “We’re really trying to get bigger and better every year. And I think we’re definitely doing that,” said Hizon. “Red Bull truly made a big presence here and what’s nice is the homegrown presence. I think 3-on-3 is fit for the Filipinos and we hope to continue pushing for it in the coming years,” Hizon added.
Following their hard fought victory at the second annual Red Bull Reign, Phenom will represent the Philippines at the World Finals in Washington DC, USA, later this year.
PHOTOS: Shena Formanes