MANILA, Philippines -- With less than a month to go before they compete in the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the national 3x3 team will enter the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna for a training camp next week.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial announced on Tuesday's Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has already secured the players' approval for a camp.
"Okay na naman daw sa mga players. Sabi ko, sulatan lang ako at susulatan ko ang mga teams," he said.
SBP president Al Panlilio on Wednesday confirmed that they have received the league's approval for the 3x3 team's training camp in a bubble environment at the Inspire facility.
The national team is composed of CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa of San Miguel Beer, Joshua Munzon of TerraFirma, and Alvin Pasaol of the Meralco Bolts.
Joining them in the bubble are 2012 PBA Draftee Karl Dehesa and Rain or Shine rookie Santi Santillan.
"The SBP thanks commissioner Willie Marcial, the PBA Board of Governors, and the mother teams of the five players for their support," said Panlilio.
"All the players and coaches, led by SBP 3x3 program director Ronnie Magsanoc, have started the protocol necessary to enter the training bubble and they will start their practices next week," he added.
The FIBA 3x3 OQT is set for May 26 to 30 in Graz, Austria.
The Philippines will take on Qatar and Slovenia on May 26 and then the Dominican Republic and France on May 28 for the chance to grab one of three spots for the Tokyo Olympics.
"We believe that the Philippines will have a competitive team in Austria," said Panlilio. "It's a big challenge to upset teams ranked in the Top 10 of 3x3 in Slovenia and France but we have a good combination of skill, speed, size, and strength to give them a run for their money."
"We may be ranked ahead of Qatar and the Dominican Republic but we can’t count them out either. It’s good to get this chance to prepare so our players can get back into game shape and develop chemistry," he added.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: