FIBA 3x3

CJ Perez not wasting shot at reaching Olympics with Gilas 3×3

Delfin Dioquino
CJ Perez not wasting shot at reaching Olympics with Gilas 3×3

BLESSED. CJ Perez says he will grab the opportunities presented to him, including the chance at making the Olympics.

Photo from SMART Sports

CJ Perez and Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 will vie for spot in the Tokyo Games through the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Austria

A chance at playing in the Tokyo Olympics is not something CJ Perez is going to take for granted.

Perez and Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 are hell-bent on clinching a spot in the Summer Games as they compete in the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Graz, Austria in May.

“I need to maximize these opportunities in my life, especially since we’re talking about the Olympics,” Perez said in a press release in Filipino.

“As early as now, I’m being given these opportunities so I’m grabbing them.”

The spitfire guard is not new to fierce competition in the international level.

Perez saw action in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, where he wound up as the leading local scorer for the Philippines, and notched a gold medal in 3×3 basketball in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

But Perez knows the teams they will go up against in the OQT are stronger and more experienced than those they faced in the SEA Games.

“We saw in our scouting videos that our opponents did not have fancy moves but they get the job done,” Perez said.

“Our opponents look really tough. The challenge for us now is to find a way how we can go toe-to-toe with them.”

To further expand his knowledge, Perez seeks the advice of teammates Joshua Munzon, Santi Santillan, and Karl Dehesa, who have a full grasp of the nitty-gritty in 3×3 basketball.

“I still need to learn more about the 3×3 game from the likes of Josh,” Perez said. “They are 3×3 veterans and the opponents we will be facing, they already played against in the past.”

After completing the first part of its training, Gilas 3×3 will return to the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna to practice again before it flies to Austria for the OQT. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.