Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 made its return to the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna Friday, May 14, for the second phase of preparation for this month’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Joshua Munzon, CJ Perez, Mo Tautuaa, Santi Santillan and Karl Dehesa re-entered the “Calambubble” while Alvin Pasaol will join the team after missing last week’s training bubble due to health and safety protocols.
Also joining the training bubble are Maodu Malick Diouf, Tonino Gonzaga and Agosto Flor, who were invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas for a possible scrimmage with the squad.
“We are looking to simulate the opposition that the Gilas 3×3 national team will face in the OQT,” said coach Ronnie Magsanoc. “We also want to give our national players the chance to scrimmage with different combinations.”
Diouf made a name for himself when he helped Centro Escolar University reach the finals of the PBA D-League First Conference back in 2019 before the Senegalese center transferred to University of the Philippines.
Gonzaga has had experiences in the local halfcourt scene, the last with Nueva Ecija in last year’s Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup while Flor once played for Rizal Technological University.
The national 3×3 cagers are hoping to make significant progress in the latest training bubble before leaving for Graz, Austria for the OQT slated May 26 to 30.
Gilas is in Pool C together with Slovenia, France, Qatar and Dominican Republic, needing a top two finish to reach the quarterfinals.
Three slots for the Tokyo Olympics are available in the five-day competition.