The Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 team is set to commence training at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna next week in preparation for the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament which is scheduled on May 26 to 30 in Graz, Austria.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced the development on Wednesday after getting clearing from the PBA with regards to the availability of Leonard Santillan (Rain or Shine), Joshua Munzon (Terrafirma), Alvin Pasaol (Meralco), and the San Miguel duo of Mo Tautuaa and CJ Perez.
Also joining the team is former pro Karl Dehesa who, along with Santillan, will serve as reserves.
“The SBP thank Commissioner Willie Marcia, the PBA Board of Governors, and the mother teams of the five players for their support,” said SBP President Al S. Panlilio in a statement.
“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.”
The Philippine team will take on Qatar and Slovenia on May 26 followed by the Dominican Republic and France on May 28 in a bid to grab one of the three spots for the Tokyo Olympics.
“We believe that the Philippines will have a competitive team in Austria,” said 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,” he added.