JR QUINAHAN doesn’t mind being the elder statesman of the Philippine team for the Fiba 3x3 World Championship in France next month.
“Ako ang pinakabata dito,” said Quinahan in jest.
Even though he is the veteran of the team, Quinahan was quick to embrace his role as the ‘new guy’ and act as the catalyst to improve the chemistry of the young trio of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena and Jeron Teng.
“Kasama ko sila. Hindi naman sila mahirap kasama. Puro magagaling ‘to. Konting jelling pa kasi nagkakahiyaan pa. Pero sa tingin ko, panlaban,” said Quinahan.
Quinahan played his first tune-up game with the team, sans Paras who was already in the US, on Wednesday night at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The 33-year-old NLEX slotman is no stranger to the 3-on-3 format, having been part of the Philippine team in Adidas and Nike tournaments in 2002 when he was still with University of Visayas.
Quinahan said he was still shocked to get the call from Eric Altamirano, a coach who's also well-versed in the 3x3 style of play, when the national squad was being formed.
“Hindi ko in-expect. Nagulat ako na tumawag si coach. Hindi ko in-expect na makapaglaro sa World Cup. Sana swertehin. Nike, Adidas, nag-champion din. Sana maka-tatlo. Laban lang tayo,” said Quinahan.
Quinahan, however, admitted that the current 3x3 game is way different from the style he was used to playing 15 years ago.
“Iba ‘yung rule dito. Tuluy-tuloy. Sa Adidas, pag rebound, may break. Eto tuluy-tuloy. Tapos mas pisikal,” said Quinahan.
At the end of the day though, Quinahan said 3x3 is still basketball and he expects the transition to be smooth.
“Wala namang pinagkaiba. Tatluhan lang at mabilis ang laro. Kailangan makapag-adjust agad,” he said.
In the tune-up game, Quinahan, Ravena, and Teng faced off against teams that included Bright Akhuetie, Sidney Onwubere, and Moustapha Arafat.
“Malaking tulong kasi sabi nga ni coach, malalaki kalaban namin. Magandang preparation for us. May shooter tapos malalaki at pisikal din maglaro," he said.
“Pero Pinoy naman tayo, hindi umaayaw,” Quinahan added.