By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Philippines’ efforts in 3×3 basketball finally paid off, as the national squad is one step away from clinching a 2020 Tokyo Olympic berth after getting called up for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in India.
The basketball scene admits that the Philippines are still new and still adjusting to the 3×3 format and style of play, but accolades garnered every year bit by bit helped the players and the coaches adapt to the tournament.
Usually tagged as underdogs in every 3×3 international tournament due to their size, the national squad eventually took the games by storm, upsetting heavyweights in shocking fashion and leaving the court encouraged by their performance.
Due to the immense passion and effort by the Chooks to Go Pilipinas and their 3×3 league, it created an avenue and stepping stone for 3×3 ballers, where they can focus and help rank up the country in the FIBA 3×3 rankings.
With Chooks to Go’s 3×3 emergence, the country was able to pinpoint the players viable and suitable for 3×3 than 5 on 5, and that helped for the player’s development in 3×3, with different coaches and practices specifically applied.
The lineup of Alvin Pasaol, Santi Santillan, and Joshua Munzon led the PH 3×3 from an average 50th ranked team to be a top 20 team.
With successive and consistent international stints, the lineup of Pasaol, Santillan, and Munzon eventually built up to the coaching staff’s desired chemistry, and with the hard work they put in, they were able to qualify for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The PH team was included in the Pool C together with international heavyweights Slovenia, France, Qatar, and the Dominican Republic.