Cebuano Santillan takes over from Pasaol in Gilas team to 3×3 OQT
GILAS Pilipinas made a last-minute change in its lineup for the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualification Tournament in Graz, Austria by tapping reserve Leonard Santillan in place of Alvin Pasaol.
The PBA-backed Team Philippine made the tough decision after weighing all things, foremost was the delayed entry of Pasaol in training due to health and safety protocols.
With limited time in training, Pasaol is still just getting into shape and his match fitness is not at optimum level for the event firing off Wednesday, May 26, 2021, according to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas special assistant to president Ryan Gregorio.
The Gilas side opens its campaign with two games against Qatar and Slovenia on Wednesday.
Santillan isn’t a bad replacement, with the former La Salle Archer himself a seasoned warrior in the 3×3 circuit along with teammates Pasaol, Joshua Munzon and Troy Rike.
The Cebuano native is ranked No. 441 in the world with 47,827 ranking points, next to Munzon with 127,708 at No. 157. Perez and Tautuaa are way, way out as they’re not FIBA 3×3 regulars.
Seeded No. 14 in the OQT, the Filipinos are determined to defy the odds in their hopes to book a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics. / PBA.PH
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