The Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 squad vying for a Tokyo Olympics slot later this month is glad to have finally set its preparation in motion after a long respite due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gilas 3×3 has been working on cohesion and gameplan since arriving at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna over the weekend.
“It’s all about trying to just find ways to be able to make up for lost time,” said Gilas 3×3 coach Ronnie Magsanoc in an interview with One Sports’ The Game recently.
“But this is what we and we’re truly grateful because we are going to be able to train together for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament,” added Magsanoc, whose team plans to leave a week before the May 26 to 30 OQT in Graz, Austria.
The Philippines is hoping to land one of three Olympic slots available for the OQT, but will go through a difficult obstacle in Pool C composed of Slovenia, France, Qatar and Dominican Republic.
Slovenia is ranked third in the FIBA 3×3 world rankings while France is at No. 11. The top two teams in the pool will advance in the quarterfinals.
PBA rookies Joshua Munzon of Terrafirma and Alvin Pasaol of Meralco lead the pool by virtue of being the top two 3×3 players in the country.
Also in the pool are San Miguel Beer’s CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa, members of the Philippines’ 3×3 triumph in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Rain or Shine rookie Santi Santillan and fellow halfcourt veteran Karl Dehesa.