GILAS 3×3 OQT team awaits gov’t green light for training

Published August 11, 2020, 10:00 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Serbian coach Stefan Stojacic talks with Alvin Pasaol, Mo Tautuaa, Joshua Munzon and CJ Perez during practice earlier this year.

A well-prepared Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 team is what its main backer has vowed by the time the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament is held in Graz, Austria next year.

FIBA announced late Tuesday that the delayed 3×3 OQT will be held May 26 to 30 in Austria’s second largest city. The Tokyo Olympic qualifier was supposed to take place March 18 to 22 in Bengaluru, India but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ronald Mascariñas, who owns the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league, said the team will resume preparations once it gets a green light from the government.

“We will be ready come 2021,” Mascariñas said. “For us in Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, we will resume operations once the government allows us to do so. We will use that tournament to help keep our players sharp while also continuing to bring in topnotch coaches to help train the team.”

Chooks 3×3 league mainstays Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol and PBA players CJ Perez of Columbian and Mo Tautuaa of San Miguel Beer who gave the Philippines the gold in last year’s Southeast Asian Games will still compose the team.

Munzon and Pasaol are included in the squad by virtue of being the country’s top two 3×3 players.

The team had been practicing prior to the lockdown, under Serbian coach Stefan Stojacic, a veteran in the FIBA 3×3 World Tour.

Gilas is eyeing a top two finish in Group C which includes Slovenia, France, Qatar and Dominican Republic in order to qualify for the next round of the OQT.

The top three teams after the five-day tournament will qualify for the Tokyo Games.