MANILA, Philippines -- With about a month to go before they compete in the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Austria, the Philippine national 3x3 team will hold a training camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
The team, composed of San Miguel's CJ Perez and Moala Tautuaa, TerraFirma's Joshua Munzon, and Meralco's Alvin Pasaol, will fly to Graz, Austria a week before the OQT that is scheduled for May 26-30.
There, they are grouped with Slovenia, France, Qatar, and the Dominican Republic in the pool phase. Only the top three teams will earn tickets to the Tokyo Olympics.
TerraFirma team governor Bobby Rosales, also the vice chairman of the PBA Board of Governors, announced in a press briefing Tuesday that they have come to an agreement with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) regarding the team's preparation for the OQT.
"They're supposed to start bubble training next week," he said. "They have asked the permission of the teams if they can bring in the players into their bubble at Inspire in Calamba next week."
Rosales said that as long as the players themselves agree to enter the bubble, then the teams will have no problem.
However, the mother teams also asked the SBP for a release clause of sorts. At the moment, PBA teams cannot do in-person training, given the quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Once they receive approval to hold scrimmages, the players in the Inspire bubble should be released to their PBA ball clubs.
"This is the arrangement we made with the SBP," Rosales said.
"As soon as the government allows the PBA to do scrimmages, the SBP should allow the players who are in the bubble in Calamba to join the scrimmages of the PBA teams," he said. "As far as the SBP is concerned, this should not be a problem."
"If the IATF allows scrimmages, they will transfer the venue of the training to the NCR. So they will get out of Calamba. That is the arrangement that we have," he added.
It remains to be seen if other players will join the 3x3 team in the Calamba facility to help them in their preparation for the OQT.
Munzon and Pasaol are top- and second-ranked 3x3 players in the country, respectively. Perez and Tautuaa, meanwhile, were part of the national team that won 3x3 gold in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
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