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Chooks 3x3 commish Altamirano on Gilas 3x3's OQT pool: "It's doable"

SBP director for operations Butch Antonio, Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 commissioner Eric Altamirano, and some of the stars of the said league flash the 3x3 pose after a press conference announcing Gilas 3x3's qualification in the OQT. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 commissioner Eric Altamirano thinks that Gilas 3x3 will have a good chance of at least making the playoffs of the FIBA 3x3 OQT men's division upon making a pre-tournament analysis of Pool C.

In fact, during a press conference on Saturday night at Crowne Plaza Hotel that was organized for the said league and the SBP to air their take on the Philippines' qualification for the OQT, the former PBA and UAAP champion coach believes that Gilas 3x3 can pull off a great fight in the pool stages.

"To be honest, hindi siya kasing-hirap ng ibang groups. Although nandoon yung France at Slovenia, it's doable," Altamirano said.

However, he clarified, "That doesn't mean that it's going to be a walk in the park," taking the case of the Dominican Republic, which he has not scouted yet and could even give Gilas 3x3 a tough fight.

Still, Altamirano added, "Compared to the other countries that will be part of the Olympic qualifier, at least we have a bigger chance of winning the games."

The top three teams at the end of the OQT from March 18-22 in India will join outright entries China, Russia, Serbia, and Japan in the inaugural Olympic 3x3 event.

A Universality OQT will happen the following month to determine the last team to qualify, although the Philippines will not be a part of it, meaning the only way for Gilas 3x3 to qualify is to make the Top 3 in the first OQT.

Altamirano expressed optimism about it.

"I think with the proper preparation, we can shock the world. I believe in these players. I think one year of experience will really help us prepare for the Olympic qualifiers," he quipped.

When he said "preparation", Altamirano particularly meant, "We'll probably have training camps and some tune-up games abroad."

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