CHOOKS TO GO Pilipinas 3X3 has officially announced the pool of players that will vie for spots on the national team for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament starting this March 18 in India. Heading the roster are the country’s two highest ranked players in Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol.
The duo will be joined by superstars from the first and only nationwide 3X3 league in Dylan Ababou, Karl Dehesa, Leonard Santillan, Chris de Chavez, Gabriel Banal, Jaypee Belencion, Leo de Vera and Ryan Monteclaro. All the mentioned names are also veterans of the international circuit like the FIBA 3X3 World Tour and Challengers where they faced the big guns from Europe and the United States.
As early as November, the pool has been practicing under the guidance of Coach Eric Altamirano and Serbian coaches Stefan Stojacic and Darko Krsman. The reserves are Dan Reducto, JR Alabanza and Andrian Celada while Franky Johnson and Troy Rike also join the practices but they cannot go to India for lack of the required two-year residency as per FIBA rules.
For the coming tournament, a country must get nominate six or more players from their Top 10. Munzon is currently the 105th in the world with 186,713 points while Pasaol is 142nd with 136,507 points.
Other Top Ten Pinoys are Ababou (91,726), Dehesa (87,364), Santillan (75,869), de Chavez (53,084) and Banal (28,318). Also in the Top Ten are Rike (75,639) and Johnson (42,069).
Only four players will go to the OQT where they will tangle with 19 other national teams for three slots to Tokyo 2020. The Philippines has been drawn in Group C together with Slovenia, France, Qatar and Dominican Republic.