Photo from Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas


Stojacic wants Gilas to focus on 3x3 basketball only for two straight weeks before OQT

by Niel Victor Masoy, February 21, 2020 6:18pm

The 5-on-5 game is totally different from the 3x3 basketball play - the rules, the speed, and the flow of competition, everything.

With this in mind, coach Stefan Stojacic wants his Gilas team, which is set to compete in the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifiers, to play 3x3 basketball only for at least two straight weeks before the tournament unfolds from March 18 to 22 in India.

For Stojacic - the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Tour MVP and the 57th best 3x3 player in the world - doing such thing would help the Gilas team - composed of CJ Perez, Mo Tautuaa, Joshua Munzon, and Alvin Pasaol - mentally.

Of those four, Perez is someone Stojacic wants to really focus on 3x3 basketball, insisting the Columbian Dyip guard has still a lot of things to work on to thrive in the 3x3 game.

“For Mo, it’s going to be easier. He is the big guy and he will play inside. For CJ, especially about the defense, he’s going to have trouble I think,” shared Stojacic.

“Still, I think he is a good player — individually, he is really good. We will see since it will be a much bigger change for him than Mo.

"If you're playing as a big guy, you're playing a big guy. But if you're playing outside in 3x3, you need to guard the big guy, you need to guard the small guy. You need to fight, you need to rebound. You need to be an all-around player. That's the thing for 3x3. There's no place to hide. That's the problem with 3x3 but we'll see."

These are the reasons why Stojacic wants Perez, who is also set to play for the Gilas 5-on-5 team against Indonesia in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, to focus on 3x3 basketball.

“It would be good if he could play just 3×3 for two straight weeks [before the OQT]," said Stojacic.

Of course, Munzon and Pasaol have little adjustments to do in the 3x3 game.

After all, Munzon and Pasaol are the country's no. 1 and no. 2 3x3 players, respectively, and have represented the country in various FIBA 3x3 Challengers.

Still, Stojacic wants them to also focus on 3x3 basketball alone.

"That would be perfect if everyone plays just 3×3 during that time. That will make a difference in their mindsets.”

But that was just Stojacic talking, aware that he doesn't have control over the commitments of Perez, Tautuaa, and Pasaol.

Perez and Tautuaa are players in the PBA, which will open its new season on March 8.

Pasaol, on the other hand, plays for Zamboanga in the ongoing Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup playoffs.

In the national team, Munzon is the sole player, who is focused on the 3x3 game only these days.

“I don’t know about the scheduling, but I’m here to give advice to Coach Eric [Altamirano]. But for me, it’s bad to play 5-on-5 and 3×3 at the same time because it’s different,” shared Stojacic.

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