ALVIN Pasaol may have missed Gilas Pilipinas 3x3's first bubble training at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, but the burly 6-foot-2 banger assured that he never stopped working.
"During that time, nag-extra workout ako tapos may Zoom workout kami ni coach Benj [Palarca]," he said. "Habang nasa bubble sila, ginagawa ko rin yung tungkulin ko para pagpasok ko, bubble-ready ako."
Pasaol failed to join the national 3x3 team's practices back in the first week of May as he had to complete the health and safety protocols.
Without him, the team continued to focus on its preparations before breaking camp last week to complete the necessary travel documents. They are set to re-enter the bubble on Saturday.
Pasaol acknowledged that it's been a while since he was on the court with his peers Joshua Munzon, CJ Perez, and Mo Tautuaa.
That's the exact reason why the University of the East product can't wait to rekindle his bond with his teammates, as well as reserves Santi Santillan and Karl Dehesa.
"Sobrang excited ko lang na makasama ko sila ulit. Dahil sa pandemic, hindi kami naka-practice at nagkita-kita kaya masaya ako na makikita ko sila muli," he said.
The Meralco rookie also knows what's expected from him, with Gilas 3x3 bracing for a killer stretch in the Fiba 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz, Austria from May 26 to 30.
Gilas 3x3 is set to face Slovenia, France, Dominican Republic, and Qatar, with the Filipinos needing to make it to the top two of Group C to advance to the knockout stages - and a podium finish to book a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics.
Chances like this, however, don't come often and Pasaol vows to make the most of the opportunity.
"Simula pa noong bata ako, gustong-gusto ko talaga na makasali sa Gilas. Dream come true ito na makaabot sa stage na ito," said the No. 2-ranked 3x3 player in the country.
"Confident ako na mabibigay ko yung todo kong lakas sa remaining practices namin sa bubble at sa OQT."