Alvin Pasaol missed out on SMART Gilas Pilipinas 3×3’s seven-day training camp in preparation for the 2021 FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the Inspire Sports Academy last week.
But the burly 6-foot-4 gunner, who could not enter the Calambubble due to health and safety protocols, assured that he did his due diligence at home.
“During that time, nag-eextra workout tapos may Zoom workout kami ni Coach Benj (Palarca). Habang nasa bubble sila, ginagawa ko rin ‘yung tungkulin ko para pagpasok ko sa bubble, ready ‘ko,” said the no. 2 ranked 3×3 player in the country prior to the Olympic cut off.
“Confident ako na mabibigay ko ‘yung todo kong lakas sa remaining practices namin sa bubble at sa OQT.”
Gilas 3×3 was supposed to re-enter the bubble on Friday but had to postpone to Saturday.
And Pasaol can’t wait to finally get back to the halfcourt with his brothers-in-arms — top 3×3 player Joshua Munzon; no. 6 Karl Dehesa; no. 8 Santi Santillan; and 30th Southeast Asian Games gold medalists CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa.
“Siyempre, sobrang excited na makasama ko sila ulit. Dahil sa pandemic, hindi kami naka-practice at nagkita-kita. Masaya na makita ko sila muli,” gushed the 26-year-old.
Having competed in FIBA 3×3’s pro circuit over the past two years, Pasaol knows how tough the opposition will be.
Gilas 3×3 faces the Piran-powered Slovenia and Qatar on the 26th. It then takes on France and the Dominican Republic on the 28th.
Still, Pasaol is confident that the Gilas quartet can match up with those nations.
“Sa magandang binuo na pool ng SBP, talagang sinigurado nila na nandun lahat ng kulang natin. Kayang-kaya natin makipagsabayan, tiwala na lang na mananalo,” said Pasaol.
Come the OQT, Pasaol will finally don the colors of Gilas Pilipinas. And the proud son of Davao will cherish every moment with the national team since this has been a childhood dream of his.
“Simula bata ako, gustong-gusto ko talaga na makasali sa Gilas. Dream come true ito na makaabot sa stage na ito. Nagpapasalamat ako kay Boss Al (Panlilio), Boss Butch (Antonio), kay Coach Ronnie (Magsanoc), at sa buong SBP dahil nakasama ako sa pool na ‘to.”