Asian Games: Gilas 3x3 teams open hoops campaign


Posted at Sep 25 2023 01:01 AM

The Gilas Pilipinas Women's team. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Sports Commission.
The Gilas Pilipinas Women's team. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Sports Commission.

The Philippine men's and women's 3x3 squads will open the country's basketball campaign in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on Monday at the Deqing Geographic Information Park Basketball Court.

The men's team, coached by Lester Del Rosario, will play Jordan at 1:00 p.m. while Coach Pat Aquino and the women's team will battle Jordan at 7:45 p.m.

The men's team is composed of Justine Sanchez, Bismarck Lina, Bryan Sajonia, and John Rey Pasaol -- the younger brother of former 3x3 national team player Alvin Pasaol, now of the Meralco Bolts.

The women's side is still awaiting the outcome of its last-minute appeal to have Marga Villanueva and Cielo Pagdulagan take the place of Camille Clarin and Angel Surada.

It's the first time that the Philippines is sending entries in both the men and women's 3x3 events, and Del Rosario is tempering his expectations.

"Laban lang ang mga bata," said Del Rosario. "We only have a short preparation, pero marami naman din kaming nagawa."

Meanwhile, the Philippine men's national basketball team arrived on Sunday in China, following an eventful leadup to the Asiad including several issues with players' eligibility. 

Coach Tim Cone and his 12-man crew checked in at the Hangzhou International Airport Sunday afternoon following their six-hour flight from Manila.

They did a light workout following a brief rest, with Cone eager to integrate Kevin Alas, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, CJ Perez, and Arvin Tolentino to the team.

The coach also expressed his gratitude to Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Mo Tautuaa, and Jason Perkins, but is appreciative of the effort extended by the five new players despite joining the team on short notice.

"They understand it’s for the country. So they’ll do whatever it takes. And so we’re very appreciative of those guys coming in," said Cone.