Munzon sees no chemistry problem in 3×3 OQT

Published May 2, 2021, 4:05 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Joshua Munzon believes chemistry won’t be an issue for the veteran 3×3 players and two members of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medal team who are joining forces to form Gilas Pilipinas pool for this month’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Santi Santillan and Karl Dehesa are teaming up with CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa for the OQT preparation which started this weekend when they entered the training bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

While the six came from different 3×3 groups, Munzon feels everyone is on a mission to fulfill the task at hand which is to qualify for the inaugural Olympic 3×3 event later this year in Tokyo.

“We got a chance to practice last year before the pandemic really started and we got a chance to build chemistry,” Munzon said during the episode of Power and Play which aired Saturday, May 1.

Gilas 3×3 was supposed to play in last year’s OQT in India but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And we have a selfless group of guys who are willing to confer with other guys whether some guys take some shots, some guys don’t take shots or whatever. We got a group of guys who are willing to win so I think more than anything it’s a good opportunity for us to get together and really just perfect our chemistry and build upon that.

“So I mean, it may take some adjustment at first but at the same time we have one goal and we all know what that goal is so I think it would be easy for all of us to go on the court and accomplish that goal,” added Munzon, back in the 3×3 scene after being taken first overall by Terrafirma in PBA Rookie Draft in mid-March.

Munzon and Pasaol, selected ninth by Meralco in the draft, are part of the pool being the country’s top two players in the halfcourt scene based on their previous stints in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and FIBA 3×3 competitions.

Perez and Tautuaa teamed up with Chris Newsome and Jason Perkins to help the Philippines take the gold in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games when 3×3 was first held in the biennial meet.

Santillan, picked fifth overall by Rain or Shine, and Dehesa also had numerous experiences playing 3×3 in the Chooks and FIBA scene.

Munzon, Tautuaa, Santillan and Dehesa entered the Inspire facility last Saturday to begin preparations for the OQT, with Perez and Pasaol expected to follow suit.