With Olympic qualifiers looming, Pasaol not yet thinking of PBA

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 13 2020 02:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Former University of the East (UE) star Alvin Pasaol is fully focused on the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament (OQT), where he and the country's national 3x3 team hope to earn a berth to the Tokyo Games.

"Siguro focused muna kami kung paano kami manalo sa OQT," Pasaol said when pressed about his PBA options during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday.

Pasaol, twice a member of the UAAP Mythical Team, opted not to join the PBA Rookie Draft in 2019 in order to focus on his 3x3 career. His decision paid off when he was included in the national team, together with Joshua Munzon.

They will team up with PBA stars CJ Perez and Moala Tautuaa in the Olympic qualifiers next May in Austria, where three tickets to the Tokyo Olympics are at stake.

Pasaol emerged as one of the best scorers in college hoops during his time in UE, and once scored 49 points in a single game. As a 3x3 player, he has led Balanga to great success in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 league, and has represented the country in various tournaments abroad.

He will put off his PBA decision until after the OQT is done, said Pasaol.

"Pagkatapos ng OQT bago ako mag-desisyon kung magpapa-draft ako," he said. "'Yun lang muna sa ngayon, kasi 'yung main goal namin is makalaro tayo sa Olympics, makasama ang Pilipinas sa Olympics."

"So 'yun muna ang main goal natin ngayon," he added.

Pasaol has plenty of options, as Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 was recently granted professional status by the Games and Amusements Board.

The FIBA 3x3 Olympic qualifying tournament will be held in Graz, Austria from May 26 to 30. It is the first official FIBA 3x3 competition in the country.

Twenty men's and 20 women's teams will compete, with the top three teams in each gender qualifying to the Tokyo Olympics later that year.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).