By Jonas Terrado
PBA players CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa will join forces with Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol to form the national team roster for next month’s FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Bengaluru, India.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas named the four players Tuesday following a recommendation of its selection committee chaired by Executive Director Sonny Barrios with coaches Jong Uichico, Pat Aquino, Ronnie Magsanoc and Eric Altamirano serving as members.
Overseeing the training are Serbian mentor Stefan Stojajic and conditioning coach Darko Krsman, the SBP added.
Santi Santillan and Karl Dehesa, who compete in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, were chosen as reserves for the tournament slated March 18 to 22.
The Philippines is eyeing a top three finish in the OQT in order to secure a spot in the Tokyo Olympics.
In order to put themselves in that position, the national cagers need to place at least second in Pool C also composed of Slovenia, France, Qatar and Dominican Republic.
Perez of Columbian Dyip and Tautuaa of San Miguel Beer are set to return to the 3×3 scene after teaming up with Meralco’s Chris Newsome and Phoenix Pulse’s Jason Perkins to win the men’s gold in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Munzon and Pasaol are automatic inclusions to the team for being the Philippines’ top two 3×3 players. FIBA rules require the two highest-ranked cagers of each country to be part of the roster.
The two garnered points through their participation in last year’s Chooks league and the FIBA-organized World Tour and Masters competitions.