Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is raring for Gilas Pilipinas to resume its preparations for the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which was delayed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Last Friday, the Inter-Agency Task Force allowed the resumption of practices and conditioning for basketball and football per the request of the PBA, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, and the Philippine Football Federation.
“Talagang gusto na natin mag-prepare diyan ng maaga,” said SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios in Tuesday’s PSA Forum powered by Smart and presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, PAGCOR, Amelie Hotel, and Braska Restaurant.
The OQT-bound team began its preparations earlier this year. The squad consists of the top two Filipino 3×3 players Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol, together with PBA stars and 30th SEA Games gold medalists CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa.
The four were training under Chooks 3×3 commissioner Eric Altamirano with Dylan Ababou, Karl Dehesa, Santi Santillan, Jaypee Belencion, Chris De Chavez, Ryan Monteclaro, Gab Banal, and Leo De Vera.
The aforementioned names, except for Perez and Tautuaa, are the country’s top 10 3×3 players in the country, which are all seeing action in the first-of-its-kind Chooks 3×3 league that began last year.
Gilas 3×3 was deep into its preparations until the COVID-19 started to wreak havoc globally, which made FIBA push back the 3×3 OQT from August to May of next year in Graz, Austria.
The international federation’s decision came after the International Olympic Committee and Japan both agreed to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to no later than the summer of 2021.
Now, hope has sprung following the IATF’s approval of the proposed return to basketball by Altamirano for Chooks 3×3. However, the Nationals still cannot proceed with practices.
According to Barrios, the federation is still waiting for the actual, official copy of the Task Force’s ruling and the implementing guidelines before making any moves.
“Hindi tayo makakakilos hangga’t hindi natin nakikita ‘yung actual and official copy ng IATF ruling,” he said.
“We have to strictly follow and comply with those rulings. The last thing we want is masita tayo.”
Barrios admitted that they still have no idea when a copy will arrive, though the SBP has been keeping in touch with the likes of PBA, Chooks 3×3, and the Philippine Sports Commission regarding the matter.
“Personally, wala akong idea. I think the two organizations whose proposals have been approved are maybe in the better position to get from the IATF a copy of what has been approved on their proposals,” said Barrios.
“We’re just in touch with both of them. Nagtatanong kami sa PSC kung may kopya sila, sa PBA nagtatanong din kami, kay Eric — marami kaming tinatanungan,” added the former PBA commissioner.
“Nagkakaigi-igi naman tayo sa sports community. Kung sinong unang makahawak, we will share it with everybody.”