FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifiers: Gilas Pilipinas suffers big losses vs Qatar, Slovenia

MANILA, Philippines – Basketball inactivities due to pandemic has taken a toll on the Philippines 3x3 Men’s Basketball Team as Gilas Pilipinas dropped its day one campaign for a 0-2 win-loss record on May 26, 2021, at the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifiers in Graz, Austria.

The Nationals, led by PBA 2021 first overall pick Joshua Munzon, showed rustiness in their maiden assignment versus Qatar. The Terrafirma Dyip rookie, who's no stranger in 3x3 tournaments, was shooting blanks from the outside throughout the game.

Gilas Pilipinas suffers big losses vs Qatar, Slovenia
Under-conditioned Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 team suffers blow out losses against Qatar and Slovenia.

Aside from Munzon, former top pick CJ Perez contributed his fair share against the Qataris but still not enough to save them from the hands of sharpshooter Abdulrahman Saad who finished the game 21-12 with a dagger corner trey.

Come game number two, Gilas’ performance worsened as 3x3 global powerhouse Slovenia pinned the Philippines down.

Spearheaded by Anze Srebovt, the Slovenians took advantage of Gilas’ sloppy defense and capitalized on their outside shooting to seal the deal 21-11.

With two consecutive losses on the opening day of the tournament, Gilas 3x3 dreams drastically diminished. Team Pilipinas is not completely out of the picture but the boys must go through a tight uphill battle to snatch an Olympic spot.

Munzon and Perez are joined by another PBA first pick Moala Tautuaa and Santi Santillan as the fourth-string while Alvin Pasaol serves as the team reserve.

Gilas Pilipinas is in a must-win-all-games situation tomorrow, May 27, 2021, versus the Dominican Republic and France at 4:30 PM and 8:00 PM (Philippine Time) respectively.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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