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MANILA, Philippines — The postponement of the 3×3 men’s basketball Olympic qualifier turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Philippine team, Ryan Gregorio said.
Gregorio, who serves as special assistant to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio, said pushing back the qualifying date on May 26-30 next year in Austria provides the Filipinos more time to practice and build their chemistry.
“I don’t think we have enough preparation had the tournament already started, ” admitted Gregorio in Filipino in a story on the PBA website. “Because it would’ve coincided with the schedule of the PBA and the players also have other schedules of their own.”
The qualifying tournament was originally set to take place last March 18-22 in India before it was rescheduled by Fiba due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Because it was moved, the 20 countries and its players are back to zero when it comes to conditioning and preparation,” he said.
“As soon as we’re given clearance by IATF to resume basketball and return to play, we’re going to have a great opportunity to play together to improve our chemistry and camaraderie,” Gregorio added.
Bannering the Gilas 3×3 team are CJ Perez, Mo Tautuaa and amateur standouts Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol.
Perez and Tautuaa were part of the PH squad that bagged the inaugural 3×3 men’s basketball gold in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.