BOCAUE — With the Olympics opening its doors to 3x3 basketball, Troy Rosario believes it could be the Filipino ballers’ golden ticket back to the quadrennial games.
“Kahit sino namang player dito, gusto talagang umabot hanggang Olympics. Matagal-tagal na ring walang nakakaabot na basketball player na Pinoy sa Olympics,” he said.
It has been over four decades since the Philippines last had an Olympic basketball squad with the 1972 team finishing 13th out of 16 teams in Munich, Germany.
Rosario, Stanley Pringle, Roger Pogoy and Christian Standhardinger have just laid down the foundation for the Olympic bid.
Despite lack of preparation, they still proudly raised the country’s flag in the 2018 Fiba 3x3 World Cup, finishing third in their group with a 2-2 record, capped off by a confidence-boosting 19-12 victory over third-seed Russia on Monday.
“It’s a good experience playing against the best of the best in the world,” said Rosario, who pumped eight points built on four two-pointers in the upset.
“Sa tingin ko, ito yung kailangan natin para pagdating ng mga susunod na 3x3 tournaments, alam na namin kung ano mga dapat nating gawin.”
The former NU Bulldog believes more preparation would have given them a better shot at the last eight.
“Mas marami sana kaming plays na maira-run at na-practice sana namin yung mga gagawin sa endgame situations. Gaya ng mga games namin against Mongolia and Canada, medyo napagod na kami at hindi na namin alam kung ano mga dapat naming i-run eh,” he lamented. “Sayang lang, hindi tayo pumasok sa next round.”
What’s more important, though, is that groundwork is already laid out as Rosario bats for a sustained 3x3 program.
“Sana magtuloy-tuloy yung programa. Sana mabuo ulit yung ganitong team kasi ang sarap mag-laro eh. Sanay tayo sa dito sa 3x3 na laro. Yun nga lang yung mga rules at yung bola lang talaga ang iba,” he said. “May pool sa Gilas na ginagamit for selection para sa Fiba 5-on-5, so sa tingin ko, kailangan din ng pool para sa 3x3.”