SLOVENIA will be the biggest hurdle for Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 as the two nations are set for a collision course in the Fiba 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Joshua Munzon has crossed paths with the players numerous times before in the Fiba 3x3 World Tour for the past two years.
"We got a chance to see Slovenia play on the pro circuit," he told Radyo5's Power and Play with Noli Eala on Saturday.
The Slovenian squad will be parading the same quartet which carried the name of world No. 8 club Piran in the World Tour.
Leading the charge are world no. 18 Simon Finzgar and no. 24 Gaspar Ovnik, as well as no. 34 Anze Srebovt and no. 35 Adin Kavgic.
It is the same team that bagged the bronze medal in the 2018 Fiba 3x3 World Cup held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue.
Though neither of anyone in the pool have had a chance to play against the Slovenians, Munzon is well aware of the strength of that side.
Piran, bringing the same core, won the Poitiers Challenger in 2019. In that tournament, Munzon suited up for Pasig Chooks, which bowed out at the quarterfinal stage.
That's why the Fil-Am slasher knows that once the Philippines crosses paths with Slovenia, Gilas 3x3 will have to be at its best.
"We've been able to watch some film during the Zoom sessions. We've been studying teams for the past month or so," said the top pick in the PBA Season 46 Rookie Draft. "We might not have been able to go together physically but Zoom has been able to keep us together mentally."
But it's not just against Slovenia as the Philippines also prepares hard for the other teams in the group which includes France, Dominican Republic, and Qatar.
"We played against a number of the Qatar guys and even some from the French team. We got some experience playing against those guys. So we've been able to gameplan a little bit for these teams," he said.
Gilas 3x3 will have to finish in the top two of Pool C to advance to the knockout rounds, where the top three finishers will earn a berth in the maiden 3x3 tournament in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.