SEA Games

Top-ranked Munzon chases 3×3 Olympic dream, forgoes PBA draft

JR Isaga
Top-ranked Munzon chases 3×3 Olympic dream, forgoes PBA draft
Fil-Am Joshua Munzon opts to focus on the country's chase for an Olympic 3x3 basketball berth

 

MANILA, Philippines – Seasoned Fil-Am guard Joshua Munzon has officially taken his name out of the 2019 PBA Draft class in favor of chasing the Philippines’ 3×3 basketball Olympic dream on Thursday, October 24. 

The country’s top-ranked 3×3 player will now join fellow stars Alvin Pasaol and Santi Santillan in a growing list of PBA-eligible prospects who have postponed their pro baller dreams for a shot at entering the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

This, despite Munzon being projected as a top 3 pick in the upcoming PBA Draft after averaging a staggering 35 points, 10 rebounds and 4.2 assists in his D-League stint. 

The 6-foot-4 swingman also starred in the ASEAN Basketball League, where he holds impressive career norms of 21.9 markers, 5.9 boards and 3.7 dimes spread over 3 years. 

“At the end of last year, Chooks-to-Go went to me and gave me this opportunity to play a new sport which is 3×3,” Munzon said. “We committed to reach that Olympic dream. Ever since then, I want to finish this commitment I made to them and our country.” 

With the country currently in a frantic race for points against other federations to meet the November 1 deadline, Munzon is practically playing daily in the ongoing Chooks-to-Go 3×3 MelMac Cup. 

The Philippines stands at 20th place in the 3×3 ladder in the recent FIBA update to stay on track of its bid to reach the top 24 cut for the upcoming Olympic Qualifying Tournament in India.

Along with Pasaol, Santillan, Troy Rike, Karl Dehesa and scores of other Pinoy players, Munzon spearheaded the country’s rise through the FIBA 3×3 federation ranks thanks to the initiative of the pioneering Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 league. 

Even with the lure of big money and fame within grasp come December, Munzon has shelved living that dream for now. 

“This one’s really special because it’s the dream of my family for me to represent the country, play for Gilas one day,” he said. “It’s a huge honor.” – Rappler.com

 

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