Alvin Pasaol is finally making his dream come true as he set to suit up in a Gilas Pilipinas jersey when he joined the Philippine squad for the 2021 FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
According to the Davao-native cager, he will be cherishing the opportunity to be part of the national team.
"Simula bata ako, gustong gusto ko talaga na makasali sa Gilas. Dream come true ito na makaabot sa stage na ito. Nagpapasalamat ako kay Boss Al (Panlilio), Boss Butch (Antonio), kay coach Ronnie (Magsanoc), at sa buong SBP dahil nakasama ako sa pool na 'to,” Pasaol said.
Pasaol did some of his preparations at home after missing out on Gilas Pilipinas 3x3's seven-day training camp at the Inspire Sports Academy last week.
The 6-foot-4 player could not enter the “Calambubble” due to health and safety protocols but assured that he did his due diligence at home.
"During that time, nag-eextra workout tapos may Zoom workout kami ni Coach Benj (Palarca). Habang nasa bubble sila, ginagawa ko rin yung tungkulin ko para pagpasok ko sa bubble ready ko," said the no. 2 ranked 3x3 player in the country prior to the Olympic cut off.
"Confident ako na mabibigay ko yung todo kong lakas sa remaining practices namin sa bubble at sa OQT."
Gilas 3x3 was supposed to reenter the bubble on Friday but had to postpone to Saturday.
Pasaol can't wait to finally get back to the halfcourt with his brothers-in-arms, top 3x3 player Joshua Munzon, no. 6 Karl Dehesa, no. 8 Santi Santillan, and 30th Southeast Asian Games gold medalists CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa.
"Siyempre, sobrang excited na makasama ko sila ulit. Dahil sa pandemic, hindi kami naka-practice at nagkita-kita. Masaya na makita ko sila muli," said the 26-year-old athlete.
Competing in FIBA 3x3's pro circuit over the past two years, Pasaol knows how tough the opposition will be.
Gilas 3×3 is set to face the Piran-powered Slovenia and Qatar on May 26 while taking on France and the Dominican Republic on May 28.
Pasaol is confident that Gilas can match up with those nations.
"Sa magandang binuo na pool ng SBP, talagang sinigurado nila na nandun lahat ng kulang natin. Kayang kaya natin makipagsabayan, tiwala na lang na mananalo," said Pasaol.