Philippine basketball

Munzon says Gilas 3×3 built on ‘selfless group of guys’

Delfin Dioquino
Munzon says Gilas 3×3 built on ‘selfless group of guys’

TOP DOG. Joshua Munzon (right), the top 3x3 player in the country, is expected to lead Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Photo from Chooks-to-Go

Joshua Munzon and Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 will try to qualify for the Tokyo Games through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Austria

Chemistry will be key for Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 as it faces a daunting task of securing a berth in the Tokyo Games through the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Graz, Austria.

The Philippines will tangle with Slovenia, France, Qatar, and Dominican Republic in the short tournament that will run from May 26 to 30.

“We have a selfless group of guys,” Joshua Munzon, the top 3×3 player in the country, told the Power and Play with Noli Eala show of Radyo Singko.

“[We have] guys who are willing to defer to other guys, whether some guys takes shots, some guys do not take shots.”

Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, CJ Perez, and Mo Tautuaa will have less than a month to work on their cohesion as they train at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna before they fly to Austria.

Also joining the bubble are reserves Santi Santillan and Karl Dehesa.

“This is a good opportunity to get on the court and just perfect that chemistry and build upon that,” Munzon said.

“It has been a dream for all of us to make the Olympics and this is a big opportunity for us and our country.”

There are only 3 tickets to Tokyo up for grabs in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where a total of 20 teams will be competing.

But in order for the Philippines – ranked No. 20 in the world – to get a crack at one of those berths, it has to win as many games in Group C against No. 2 Slovenia, No. 10 France, No. 26 Qatar, and No. 33 Dominican Republic.

Only the top two teams from each of the 4 groups will advance to the knockout stage.

“We’ve been studying these teams for the past month or so,” said Munzon as the team kept in touch through online workouts and film sessions.

“We all have one goal and we all know what that goal is so I think it should be easy to get on the court and accomplish that goal.” –

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.