FIBA: Santillan in lineup as Gilas 3x3 begins Olympic qualifying campaign

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2021 11:34 AM

FIBA: Santillan in lineup as Gilas 3x3 begins Olympic qualifying campaign 1

MANILA, Philippines -- Santi Santillan will be the fourth member of the Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 team when they open their campaign in the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament Wednesday night in Graz, Austria.

He joins Joshua Munzon, the top-ranked 3x3 player in the Philippines, and Southeast Asian Games gold medalists CJ Perez and Moala Tautuaa in the squad.

Alvin Pasaol, the No. 2 ranked player in the country, will be watching on the sidelines. A veteran of the FIBA 3x3 circuit, Pasaol missed the first half of the national team's training camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba due to health and safety protocols.

With Pasaol's match fitness not yet at an optimum level, the coaching staff instead tapped Santillan, who is the sixth-ranked 3x3 player in the Philippines.

FIBA: Santillan in lineup as Gilas 3x3 begins Olympic qualifying campaign 2

The 6-foot-6 Santillan is a veteran of the local 3x3 circuit. In November 2020, he teamed up with Pasaol, Munzon, and Troy Rike to dominate the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Presidents Cup. He has also played in three FIBA World Tour Masters events. 

Gilas Pilipina 3x3 opens its OQT campaign at 7:55 p.m. against Qatar, before taking on powerhouse Slovenia at 9:55 p.m.

They then play Dominican Republic and France on Friday.

FIBA: Santillan in lineup as Gilas 3x3 begins Olympic qualifying campaign 3

Only the top two teams in each group will advance to the knockout round. The top three finishers in the OQT will earn tickets to the Tokyo Olympics.