|Newly-crowned Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 Magiting Cup MVP Alvin Pasaol is giving up a shot in the PBA Draft in favor of Olympic dreams. Ivan Saldajeno|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANDALUYONG--The upcoming PBA Draft is now going to be one big name less.
Former UE King Warrior Alvin Pasaol confirmed on Friday that he is not throwing his name to this year's draft proceedings in the country's top-tier club league.
"Di ako magpapa-draft for this year," Pasaol said.
Talks of the six-foot-two wingman declaring for the draft became rife when he decided to forego what would be his final season with UE.
However, Pasaol, who plays for Wilkins Balanga in the local and international 3x3 club ranks, has just shifted his attention to possibly playing for Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 Men in the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament should the SBP make the Top 24 cut by Nov. 1.
"Itutuloy ko yung campaign na sinimulan ko for 3x3. Tatapusin namin ito. Pupunta tayo ng Olympics. Kakayanin natin ito," he vowed.
Wilkins Balanga plays in the Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 League, whose establishment helped the Philippines improve drastically in the men's 3x3 rankings globally.
The SBP even cracked Rank 24 at some point before Belarus became active recently and took the 24th spot.
With that said, Pasaol said that even if Balanga Chooks won the Magiting Cup title and earned seats in the FIBA 3x3 Jeju Challenger and the Jeddah Masters, the work is far from over.
"Malayo pa tayo para sa Olympics. Yun naman talaga ang main goal ng Chooks, sina Boss Ronald [Mascarinas], Boss Mel [Macasaquit], at Coach Eric [Altamirano]," Pasaol, who was named MVP of the Magiting Cup, further said. "Huwag nating sayangin yung pinaghirapan ng management para lang sa wala."
He even said that he would love an all-Filipino lineup composed of him, Chris De Chavez, Karl Dehesa, and Santi Santillan for Balanga in Jeju to rack up more 3x3 points, although bringing back American reinforcement Travis Franklin would remain the likeliest scenario.
"Baka kunin pa rin namin si Travis, pero all throughout, kung gusto naming mag-stick na all-Filipino... kasi pag all-Filipino mas malaki ang makukuha nating rank points. Siguro depende na sa management," Pasaol continued.
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