Gilas 3x3 team locks in on preparation for Olympic qualifiers
MANILA, Philippines — The Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 squad of Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa will be needing a lot of work heading into the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in India in March.
After their first day of practice, head coach Stefan Stojacic said preparations and fine-tuning will be critical in their campaign.
"I think we still have enough time to cover everything," Stojacic said after the team's first practice together in Ronac in Mandaluyong City on Wednesday.
"CJ and Mo are new players in 3x3. They played in the SEA Games but that tournament is totally different from the international level," he added.
Perez and Tautuaa clinched a gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games with teammates Chris Newsome and Jason Perkins.
But the duo have had little 3x3 experience prior to the biennial tournament.
Meanwhile, Munzon and Pasaol are the top two 3x3 players in the country, and Stojacic foresees the squad leaning heavily on the duo.
"Alvin is going to be the glue guy here. He is going to connect all of them together. Also Josh. Josh is going to be the biggest influence," Stojacic said in a press release.
"All of them are great but Alvin and Josh are going to be the biggest influence. That is my opinion after just the first practice," he added.
But Stojacic aims to increase Perez and Tautuaa's 3x3 level, after playing most of their careers as 5-on-5 cagers.
"I'm here to put them together to play 3x3 on an international level and how they will be competitive for the OQT," Stojacic said.
Stojacic was the FIBA 3x3 World Tour MVP back in 2018 and also coached the Chinese 3x3 squad.