Pasaol sets sights on Tokyo Games

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    TOKYO is firmly on his mind.

    Former University of the East star wingman Alvin Pasaol said he will decide if he will apply for the pro league draft after his stint with the Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 squad set to do battle in the FIBA 3×3 Olympic qualifying tournament.

    “Hintayin ko munang matapos ang OQT bago ako mag-decide (if I will join the PBA draft). My main goal is to join the Olympics,” Pasaol said last Tuesday in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum webcast.

    “Focus muna kami kung paano kami manalo sa OQT,” he added.

    The 6-foot-3 Pasaol, the second-ranked 3×3 player in the country, is excited to team up with Fil-Am forward Joshua Munzon, along with the PBA’s CJ Perez of Terra Firma and Mo Tautuaa of San Miguel Beer in the 3-on-3 side eyeing to clinch a berth in the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.

    “Sobrang saya ko kasi makakasama ko na si Joshua (Munzon),” said Pasaol in the weekly forum powered by Smart and presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, Milo, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., with Upstream Media as webcast partner.

    “Sad ako kasi iiwan ko na ang Balanga (my former team in 3×3), pero moving forward, we’re prepping for the OQT.”

    The FIBA 3×3 Olympic qualifiers was originally set last March 18 to 22 in Bengaluru, India but was postponed and moved to May 26-30, 2021 in Graz, Austria due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The burly but prolific Pasaol was projected to be among the top picks in the PBA draft last December along with the 6-foot-4 Munzon, the No. 1 3×3 player in the country, and former La Salle big man Leonard Santillan.

    The trio, however, opted to skip the draft and toughen up via the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, which is now a pro league.

    The PBA is eyeing to hold the next draft either in December or January next year.
    Pasaol, who once scored 49 points for the Red Warriors in the UAAP in 2017, said the 3×3 team does not have any problem playing together.

    “Iyong chemistry, wala namang problema sa ngayon,” he said. “Importante sa amin iyong communication.”