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Munzon, PH pool for FIBA 3X3 OQT ‘have great individual skills’ but mindset change required, says coach Stojacic

by Niel Victor Masoy, January 18, 2020 5:06pm

Stefan Stojic - the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Most Valuable Player (MVP) - recognized the talent and skill that Joshua Munzon and the Philippine pool for the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament possess.

Stojic, however, stressed that the Filipino players should have a mindset change in order to thrive in the 3x3 game.

"They are really good, quality players. They have great individual skills,” said Stojic, who is now one of the coaches of the Philippine 3x3 pool bankrolled by Chooks-to-Go.

“The problem is they need to change their mindset since the 3x3 and 5-on-5 game is totally different. It's a totally different game. The only thing the same is scoring through the rim. Even the ball is different, the movements are different, the way you play offense and defense are different," added Stojic, who’s still playing for Liman and is ranked 57th in the world by FIBA.

Stojic, who was also a member of the Liman team that won the World Tour two years ago at the Philippine Arena, said he and the rest of the Philippine pool have focused on that mindset change in their training sessions for the past month.

"So that's the thing we were working on. That's what I have experienced in 3x3. You can be a really good player in 5-on-5 but that does not mean you are going to be good in 3x3 and opposite. That was what we worked on over the past month."

The Philippines’ no. 1 player Munzon and no. 2 player Alvin Pasaol thanked Stojic for sharing his knowledge to the pool, saying it’s a huge help to the pool which is also composed of Karl Dehesa, Dylan Ababou, Chris De Chavez, Leonard Santillan, Jaypee Belencion, Gab Banal, Ryan Monteclaro, and Leo De Vera.

Recently, the national basketball team 3x3 coach Ronnie Magsanoc added Cjay Perez, Chris Newsome, Jason Perkins, and Mo Tautuaa to the pool.

"Coach Stefan opened my eyes to the pace of the game and not just have my foot on the gas pedal. It's about slowing the game down, reading the defense, and practicing a lot of patience. I think I forgot that over time. 3x3 is about reading the defense," said the Filipino-American Munzon.

"Laki ng naitulong niya sa atin. Lahat naturo niya at gusto niyang baguhin yung one-on-one mindset nating mga Pilipino pati yung tricks sa depensa. Conditioning talaga. Sabi nga niya, 3x3 is a sprint not a marathon. Kasi philosophy nila hindi kailangan mag-one-on-one," shared Pasaol.

The Olympic Qualifying Tournament is set to start on March 18 to 20 in New Delhi, India. 

The top three teams in the competition will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in July.

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