Gilas Pilipinas’ men’s team continue their preparation for two tough international competitions scheduled for mid-year.
This was shared by Ryan Gregorio, assistant to the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), in his session on The Chasedown Saturday’s TV program, indicating that all pool members are cooperating to have possible representation for the FIBA ââAsian Cup qualifiers and the Olympic qualifying tournament next month.
The team of Gilas cadets train hard at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, and are excited to jump in on the action and represent the country.
“They’ve been in the bubble for three to four weeks already,” Gregorio said. “They have temporarily broken camp for the players to be reactivated, but they must return in five days and resume training on May 22.”
Upon their return, the team are expected to resume training before taking part in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asian Cup qualifying bubble tournament in Clark, Pampanga on 13 June.
The nationals are due to take part in the third and final qualifying window which will take place from June 16 to 20 where they will seek to formalize their entry into the FIBA ââAsian Cup in their matches against Korea (June 16 and 20) and the ‘Indonesia (June 18). .
Gilas currently leads Group A with an impeccable 3-0 record, followed by Korea (2-0), Indonesia (1-2) and Thailand (0-4).
After the Asian Cup qualifiers, the national team then takes part in the FIBA ââOlympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia from June 29 to July 4.
The Philippines play in Group A with the Dominican Republic and Serbia. Group B, meanwhile, includes Puerto Rico, Italy and Senegal. An Olympic place is to be won in the tournament.
Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Isaac Go, Dwight Ramos, Rey Suerte, Jordan Heading, William Navarro, Tzaddy Rangel Jaydee Tungcab, Kemark Carino, Javi Gomez de LiaÃ±o, Dave Ildefonso, SJ Belangel, RJ Abarrientos, are part of the player pool of Gilas. Carl Tamayo, Justine Baltazar, Jason Credo, Geo Chiu, Lebron Lopez and the candidate naturalized player Angelo Kouame.
The pool trains under the guidance of Gilas Pilipinas’ program director, Tab Baldwin, and coaches Jong Uichico, Sandy Arespacochaga, Boyet Fernandez, Caloy Garcia, Alton Lister, Sandro Soriano and Dex Aseron.
Mr Gregorio said they appreciate the sacrifice players and coaches make to be a part of the squad and their cooperation in what the SBP is doing to make their program “sustainable”.
Regarding the federation’s readiness to host the FIBA ââAsia Cup qualifiers here, the SBP official said the process is underway despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.
âThe SBP is trying to make sure everything is cleared for accommodation. Tasks have been delegated for good coordination. We are in the process of requesting the necessary documentation from the federations that will compete here. It has been difficult because of the pandemic, but we are convinced that we have done it, âhe said.
They also appreciate the approval they got from the Interagency Working Group for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to proceed with the qualifications, which were originally scheduled to take place in February but had to be canceled due to the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus.
In addition to Group A, the Clark Bubble will also host matches in Groups B and C. All matches will be played behind closed doors under health and safety protocols. – Michael Angelo S. Murillo