Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 will join their 5-on-5 counterparts in Inspire Sports Academy starting on May 1.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will gather the six-player pool next week as it vies for a spot in the Tokyo Games during the FIBA 3X3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz.
Top two 3×3 players Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol, formerly from Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, will be joined by 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalists CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa. Completing the pool are no. 6 Karl Dehesa and no. 8 Santi Santillan.
Munzon is now with Terrafirma, Pasaol with Meralco, and Santillan with Rain or Shine. Both Perez and Tautuaa are with San Miguel while Dehesa is in talks with a PBA 3×3 team.
“The SBP thanks Commissioner Willie Marcial, the PBA Board of Governors, and the mother teams of the five players for their support. All the players and coaches, led by SBP 3×3 Program Director Ronnie Magsanoc, have started the protocol necessary to enter the training bubble and they will start their practices next week,” said SBP president Al Panlilio.
Gilas Men’s pool composed of Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Jordan Heading, William Navarro, Tzaddy Rangel, Jaydee Tungcab, Kemark Carino, Javi Gomez de Liaño, Dave Ildefonso, SJ Belangel, RJ Abarrientos, Carl Tamayo, Justine Baltazar, Jason Credo, Geo Chiu, Lebron Lopez, and naturalization candidate Ange Koame have been in the Calambubble since last Monday.
The last time the Gilas 3×3 quartet trained together was back in February last year when former FIBA 3X3 World Tour MVP Stefan Stojacic trained the team.
The Philippines will take on Qatar and Slovenia on May 26 and then the Dominican Republic and France on May 28 for the chance to grab one of three spots for the Tokyo Olympics.
“We believe that the Philippines will have a competitive team in Austria,” added Panlilio. “It’s a big challenge to upset teams ranked in the Top 10 of 3×3 in Slovenia and France but we have a good combination of skill, speed, size, and strength to give them a run for their money. We may be ranked ahead of Qatar and the Dominican Republic but we can’t count them out either.
“It’s good to get this chance to prepare so our players can get back into game shape and develop chemistry.”