THE Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 team resumes preparations for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament as trains at the Inspire Sports Academy under a bubble setup starting next week.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) made the official announcement on Wednesday after getting clearance from the PBA on the availability of players Joshua Munzon (Terrafirma), Alvin Pasaol (Meralco), Leonard Santillan (Rain or Shine), and the San Miguel duo of Mo Tautuaa and CJ Perez for the three-week training camp in Calamba, Laguna.
Also joining them is Karl Dehesa, who serves as one of two reserves of the team along with Santillan.
The FIBA 3x3 Olympic qualifier is set May 26 to 30 in Graz, Austria.
“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 3x3 Program Director Ronnie Magsanoc, have started the protocol necessary to enter the training bubble and they will start their practices next week.”
The Filipinos take on Qatar and Slovenia on the first day of the meet on May 26, and then Dominican Republic and France on the 28th in a bid to clinch one of three spots for the Tokyo Olympics where 3x3 basketball will make its debut.
The Philippines is bracketed in Pool C of the four-group, 20-country qualifier.
Panlilio said it's not going to be easy, but still believes the Gilas team has a chance.
"We believe that the Philippines will have a competitive team in Austria. It's a big challenge to upset teams ranked in the Top 10 of 3x3 in Slovenia and France, but we have a good combination of skill, speed, size, and strength to give them a run for their money," added the SBP chief.
"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."