ALVIN Pasaol will be rejoining the Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 men’s team once it re-enters the Inspire Sports Academy for its bubble training for the coming Tokyo Olympic Qualification Tournament.
The rookie forward of Meralco failed to show up in Calamba, Laguna during the team’s first week of training as he was still in the process of completing health and safety protocols when the national squad decided to break camp for the moment as it processes the necessary documents needed for travel to Austria, site of the May 26 to 30 qualifier.
But head coach Ronnie Magsanoc said the team will return to training in full force for the final phase of its preparation before leaving for Central Europe.
“Right now there has been an agreement with the roster that we’ll continue our Zoom workouts, but we also instructed them to find a playing court where they could practice individually,” said Magsanoc, also a deputy coach at Meralco.
“What’s important is to stay in shape and be ready for the elite competition come the OQT.”
Despite the absence of Pasaol, training camp went smoothly as Magsanoc said the quintet of regulars Mo Tautuaa, CJ Perez, and Joshua Munzon, along with alternates Leonard Santillan and Karl Dehesa have all been locked in.
The team trained twice daily in the one week they stayed at Inspire Academy.
“With their commitment and sacrifice, I can say that the players are really all-in,” said Magsanoc. “The SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) did its part to provide us with everything we needed including a safe training environment in the bubble and the team did its best to maximize the great opportunity to train and be together.
Magsanoc admits the first few practices were tough due to the conditioning of the players, but the level has since picked up considerably.
“They’ve been off the court for the past six weeks because of the community quarantine so we had to be patient until they got their legs underneath them. But so far, we like what we see and we’ll take what we can get,” said the 3x3 national coach.
“The launchpad that this team will have is the effort and commitment they will show not just in the training bubble, but hopefully until our next workouts.”
The Gilas 3x3 team will be trooping back to Calamba by next week to train anew before leaving for the qualifying proper.
The team is bracketed with Slovenia, France, Qatar, and the Dominican Republic in the pool stage, where it needs to win at least two of its game to advance in the knockout stage.
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