Gilas 3×3 to start OQT prep next week

Published April 21, 2021, 10:17 AM

by Jonas Terrado

The Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 team was given the green light to start preparing for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament as early as next week at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

The PBA Board of Governors gave its go-signal to lend San Miguel Beer’s CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa and rookies Joshua Munzon of Terrafirma and Alvin Pasaol of Meralco after the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas last Monday, April 19 presented its plans for the OQT.

Gilas earned qualification for the OQT slated May 26 to 30 in Graz, Austria based on ranking points garnered before the end of 2019.

Munzon and Pasaol are required to play being the country’s top two 3×3 players while Perez and Tautuaa, members of the Philippine team that took the gold in the halfcourt discipline of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games were added to the roster.

PBA vice chairman Bobby Rosales said the SBP plans to have the team leave for Graz a week before the OQT.

But Rosales added that the four players will be required to rejoin their teams while training for the OQT once 5-on-5 scrimmages in Metro Manila are allowed by the government.

“As far as the scheduling is concerned, there’s no issue right now,” Rosales said in Tuesday’s virtual press conference. “But then, there is this arrangement that we made with the SBP that as soon as scrimmages are allowed, the SBP should allow those players who are in the bubble to join the scrimmages of the PBA teams.

“And as far as the SBP is concerned, that should not be a problem. If the IATF allows scrimmages, they will transfer the venue of the training to NCR so they will get out of Calamba. So there should be no problem,” added the team governor of Terrafirma.

Munzon, Pasaol, Perez and Tautuaa were supposed to play in the OQT last year in India but FIBA decided to postpone the competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

National athletes vying for slots in this year’s Olympics were permitted by the IATF to resume their training bubbles even in areas under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine provided health protocols are observed.

Gilas 3×3 is eyeing for a top three slot in the 20-nation OQT in order to qualify for the Olympics.