Despite two disheartening losses on Day 1 of the 2021 FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 still has a chance to make it to the knockout playoffs of the tournament.
However, the Filipino trio needs a lot of work — plus a couple of miracles — for a shot at booking one of three tickets to the Tokyo Olympics.
According to former Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 coaching staff and Coaches Unfiltered host Coach Anton Altamirano, there are two scenarios wherein Gilas can punch its ticket to the next round.
The first scenario is for the Philippines to gain a three-way tie at 2-2 first.
The Philippines had lost to Qatar, 21-12, and to Slovenia, 21-11, to fall to 0-2. For clarification, Gilas is not in last place. The Dominican Republic, who lost 17-12 to Qatar and 21-7 against France, only has 19 points on the board compared to 23 for the Philippines.
Both Qatar and France sit atop the group at 2-0, while Slovenia is in third with a 1-1 slate.
In scenario A, the quartet of Joshua Munzon, Santi Santillan, CJ Perez, and Mo Tatuaa need to pick up two impressive victories over the Dominican Republic (5:55PM) and France (7:55PM) on Friday. And by impressive, Tiebreaker Times means that they need to reach at least 21 points in both games — or a rare 22, which can only be achieved by going to match-point before draining a deuce.
Now, Gilas will hope against hope that Qatar continues its rampage and sweeps both Slovenia and France. It’s a tough task as both European teams are world powers in the sport.
Slovenia, a squad that has four players in the top 32, is also penciled in to wallop the Dominican Republic, a team that has no players in the top 1,000.
If all things fall into place, Gilas 3×3 will be knotted at 2-2 with Slovenia and France.
If Gilas raises its point total to between 65-67, they hope that Slovenia is held down to below 27 points and France be locked to below 25 points in both games to advance to the knockout round of the tournament.
In another scenario, Gilas will still wish that Qatar continues its rampage and sweeps the group while the Filipinos again defeats both the Dominican Republic and France.
The Philippines will also need to bank on the Dominican Republic to stun Slovenia.
In this scenario that is less likely to happen, Slovenia drops to 1-3 while both Gilas and France will be knotted at 2-2. By virtue of the Filipinos beating the French, it will be Gilas who will take the second seed in the pool thus moving on to the next round.
These are the only two scenarios Gilas 3×3 has to make it to the next round. Anything less would mean another three-year wait for the next Olympics.
Rest assured though, the Ronnie Magsanoc-coached squad will not go down without a fight. After all, it’s national pride at stake.