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    Altamirano hoping Gilas 3x3 can play in a tournament before Olympic qualifying

    Aug 11, 2020

    ERIC Altamirano hopes the Gilas Pilipinas Men's 3x3 team can play in a tournament before the 2020 Fiba 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in April 2021 in Graz, Austria.

    "Kung ako lang sana ang masusunod, I would love that. Mas gusto ko yun, if you combine the four players in a competition setting. Mas maganda kesa yung practice lang ng practice," he said on Tuesday's online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

    Local 3x3 series players Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol are teaming up with PBA players CJ Perez of Terra Firma and Mo Tautuaa of San Miguel for the Olympic qualifying.

    The quartet trained this year and had scrimmages with a Serbian team before the COVID-19 pandemic put everything on a halt.

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    Altamirano, however, said that nothing compares to competition.

    "Nung March before the lockdown, wala pa rin kaming competition nun. Puro practice lang kami noon. Actually we invited a Serbian team just to practice with us, yung OQT team. Pero iba pa rin eh, iba pa rin talaga yung competition," he said.

    "So I hope we can come up with that, or we can agree with that na payagan yung PBA players na kasama sa OQT na makalaro sa liga."

    A quick solution for it will be to test the Gilas 3x3 team in the local Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 League as it aims to resume competitions in a bubble setup in Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

    Still, Altamirano knows it won't be an easy task.

    "We have to consider also yung dalawang players natin coming from the PBA, may mga plano rin yung mother teams nila, 'di ba? They’re about to restart na rin. So, I think it’s a matter of plotting it out para ma-manage natin yung mga schedules of our Chooks players and at the same time yung mga PBA players to be able to practice," he said.

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    "Hindi naman pwede na mag-practice pag malapit na yung May, na magka-cram na naman. I think blessing in disguise nga itong postponed kasi we will have more time to prepare."

    That's why the decorated mentor is just keeping his fingers crossed that the powers-that-be find a fitting compromise to prepare Gilas 3x3 for the OQT next year

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    "Hopefully, we can come up with a win-win situation both for Chooks and also for the PBA players," he said.

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