PBA sked allows Gilasâ participation in 3x3 OQT
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial
STAR/ File

PBA sked allows Gilas’ participation in 3x3 OQT

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - March 1, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — While its involvement in Gilas Pilipinas men’s newly-added campaign in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament is yet to be discussed and finalized, the PBA has already committed to a separate Tokyo Games’ qualifier for Gilas’ 3x3 crew.

PBA stars Mo Tautuaa and CJ Perez and incoming rookies Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol are set to don the Gilas colors in the FIBA 3x3 OQT on May 26-30 in Graz, Austria.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the pro league will accommodate the 3x3 OQT in the calendar of the Philippine Cup, which is being eyed for an April kickoff.

“Their participation in the 3x3 OQT is already approved,” Marcial told The STAR. “We’ll make corresponding adjustments in their respective teams’ schedules.”

Gilas 3x3 is grouped with Slovenia, France, Qatar and Dominican Republic in Pool C, one of the four brackets in Graz. The Filipinos need to reach the finals or win the third-place match to earn the right to participate in 3x3’s Summer Olympics debut.

PBA stars are similarly expected to anchor Gilas’ renewed bid for a ticket to Tokyo in centerpiece 5-on-5.

The Philippines was named as a last-minute replacement for New Zealand in the OQT in Serbia, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas intends to form “the best possible team.”

SBP president Al Panlilio said they will “coordinate with the PBA to plot the plans moving forward.”

Marcial has reiterated the PBA’s support for Gilas but awaits the SBP’s course of action. The Serbia OQT isn’t in the original calendar for 2021 and will likely lead to a tweaking of the pro league’s All-Filipino schedule.

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