Gilas Pilipinas U18 5-on-5 team members Camille Nolasco and BJ Villarin are once again tasked to lead the Philippine team, this time in the FIBA 3×3 U17 Asia Cup set to begin Thursday, Oct. 13, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Camille Nolasco (FIBA photo)

Groomed by no less than Gilas women’s program director and head coach Pat Aquino as the next torch-bearers to Gilas 3×3 queens Janine Pontejos, Afril Bernardino and Jack Animam, Nolasco and Villarin aim for a fitting to follow up to the team’s third place finish in the 2019 edition as they join hands with national team first timers Arianna Delos Santos and Nicole Pring.

“Halos lahat naman medyo bago sa 3×3 so major adjustment talaga. Sana hindi sila magulat of how 3×3 is really played internationally,” said Aquino

“Slowly they’re getting it. “Sana makuha nila yung pinapagawa namin… Sabi ko be a sponge na lang and hopefully they can do it. And for a fact, first time nila so talagang mahirap but we’ll try our best talaga,” he added.

The Filipina dribblers will open the tournament against Hong Kong at 2:50 p.m. before rounding up the qualifying draw with a clash against rival Thailand at 4:30 p.m.

A sweep of its assignments will then allow Gilas to advance to the pool play where it is set to face Mongolia and Japan. The top two teams from the four pool will advance to the quarterfinals.

“Io na yun eh. Ito na yung mga susunod sa mga yapak nila Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, Jack Animam so it’s very important they experience international play all the time,” added Aquino as he hopes his girsl would take advantage of the experience especially after the pandemic put the Gilas 3×3 youth program to a halt.

Source: Manila Bulletin (