MANILA - Head coach Ronnie Magsanoc is pleased with the progress being made by the national 3x3 team so far in its training camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
The national pool, composed of Moala Tautuaa, Joshua Munzon, CJ Perez, Leonard Santillan, and Karl Dehesa, trained twice a day with gym sessions in between to prepare for the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament scheduled for May 26-30 in Graz, Austria.
The team's preparations were delayed after NCR Plus was placed under enhanced community quarantine due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, but Magsanoc was confident they were able to make up for lost time.
"With their commitment and sacrifice, I can say that the players are really all-in," said Magsanoc.
"The SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) did its part to provide us with everything we needed including a safe training environment in the bubble and the team did its best to maximize the great opportunity to train and be together," he added.
The first few practices were tough due to the conditioning of the players, but the level of play has picked up considerably.
"They've been off the court for the past six weeks because of the community quarantine so we had to be patient until they got their legs underneath them but so far, we like what we see and we’ll take what we can get," Magsanoc said.
"The launchpad that this team will have is the effort and commitment they will show not just in the training bubble but hopefully until our next workouts," he added.
The team broke camp after one more training session on Saturday morning to process the necessary documents needed for their travel to Austria. They are expected to return to Calamba after just a few days.
Alvin Pasaol, who is still in the process of completing the health and safety protocols, should be ready when the pool re-starts its training inside the Calamba bubble.
"Right now, there has been an agreement with the roster that we'll continue our Zoom workouts but we also instructed them to find a playing court where they could practice individually," Magsanoc explained.
"What's important is to stay in shape and be ready for the elite competition come the OQT," he added. "In all, I salute these gallant gentlemen for everything that they have done. I'm learning from them and I'm hoping I also impart some knowledge to them."
"So far, I like what I see. I'm doing my best and they're doing their best and that's more than good enough for me."
The Philippines has been grouped with Slovenia, France, Qatar, and the Dominican Republic in the Pool Stage. The top three teams in the OQT will earn tickets to the Tokyo Olympics.
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