Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio has asked PBA 3×3 executives to include the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in their presentation to the league’s board of governors later this month.
PBA 3×3 chairman Dickie Bachmann and newly-appointed tournament director Eric Altamirano will meet on Wednesday to begin laying the groundwork for the standalone league, targeted to launch by March.
Also part of the new league’s committee are PBA technical consultant Joey Guanio, NorthPort governor Erick Arejola, and Phoenix governor Atty. Raymon Zorilla, with SBP 3×3 director Ronnie Magsanoc serving as a consultant.
“Eric mentioned to me yesterday, there is a May qualifying tournament for the OQT of 3×3. And sabi ko i-include na rin yun sa presentation to the board,” Panlilio told the Philippine Sportswriters’ Association Forum which is powered by SMART and presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR, with Upstream Media as webcast partner., Tuesday.
The 3×3 OQT is set to take place on May 26-30 in Graz, Austria. The event would have originally taken place on March 18-22 of last year, but was rescheduled by FIBA due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
That stalled the preparations of Gilas Pilipinas 3×3, who are made up of the country’s top 3×3 players in Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol and 30th Southeast Asian Games gold medalists Mo Tautuaa and CJ Perez.
The crew has Altamirano as head coach and was also mentored for a while by 3×3 great Stefan Stojacic. Helping them prepare were highly-ranked players from the pioneering Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3.
Panlilio said that he has asked Altamirano and Co. to lay out what Gilas 3×3 would need for the tournament, particularly the timetable for the preparation and the players that he is looking to add to the national squad.
And this early, the amiable executive shared that among the plans of the former PBA champion coach for Gilas 3×3 is to bring them to a training camp in Serbia prior to the Olympic qualifiers.
“I think he wants to even send a team out to Serbia prior to the OQT to practice and to be able to compete,” he said.