JOSHUA Munzon said there's only one way the Philippines can succeed in 3x3 basketball.
“To be successful in 3x3, you got to play 3x3,” stressed the 26-year-old Fil-American who happens to be the country’s top ranked player in the three-a-side event.
The No. 1 overall pick in the last PBA Rookie Draft made the observation in the wake of Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 men’s team’s failure to win a single game in the Fiba Olympic Qualification Tournament In Graz, Austria.
Unlike their experienced opponents from Qatar, Slovenia, Dominican Republic, and France, Munzon noted Gilas didn’t get to play together long enough as a team, its situation even made worse by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“We didn’t get enough time to do that. Most of the teams (on that tournament), the guys are playing 3x3 all year round,” said the Long Beach, California native.
“They’ve devoted to playing just 3x3.”
Munzon did just that the past three years after initially playing 5-on-5. He played for Pasig Chooks in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 and represented the country in the Fiba 3x3 World Tour several times.
The stint allowed him to earn ranking points to become the highest-ranked Filipino 3x3 player at No. 155 going to the Olympic qualifier.
Although he declined to make excuses, Munzon believes Gilas Pilipinas could have done better had it practiced together as a team for a long time.
Unfortunately, there are things that are beyond the team's control.
“If it was something like that (playing together), then I think our 3x3 team can benefit from something like that,” said Munzon.