GILAS GAINS MORE GROUND WITH PBA-REINFORCED POOL, KOUME AND KIEFER RAVENA JOINS CALAMBA BUBBLE
The All-cadets and PBA draftees added Kiefer Ravena and naturalized player Angelo Koume who joined the training bubble last Sunday for Gilas Pilipinas pool for the third and last window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers to be held in Clark, Pampanga this February.
Joining the two were 2019 PBA Rookie Draft selections Isaac Go, Matt and Mike Nieto, and Rey Suerte; and cadets Javi Gomez de Liaño, Dave Ildefonso, Justine Baltazar, Calvin Oftana, William Navarro, and Kemark Carino inside the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, alongside with Gilas Pilipinas project director Tab Baldwin and the rest of the coaching staff with coach Jong Uichico in the helm.
It was recently last January that the pro league received the wishlist of Gilas to take part in the 2021 FIBA Qualifiers to tip-off in February.
The rest of the players as well as those requested from the league are set to engage in the training bubble next week although the league has not announced the names the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) had requested.
“These young men have not only proved their dedication to the Gilas program but have also shown their capability to work well as a team as we saw in the two games against Thailand in the last window,” SBP President Al S. Panlilio shared.
“I’m thankful for their commitment as we continue to lay the foundation for the team we will form in 2023,” he continued.
Norman Black and Caloy Garcia had recently been added to the coaching staff of Uichico which are composed of regulars, Sandy Arespacochaga, Boyet Fernandez, and Alton Lister.
“As always, we appreciate the unwavering support of PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial and the PBA Board to the Gilas program,” said Panlilio.
“We had very good discussions with the PBA and we were able to get the commitment of several PBA players who will be part of the second batch coming into the bubble training on January 22nd,” he added.
On the other hand, Alyn Bulanadi, who was included in the previous window and part of the PBA rookie draft selection in 2019, is not joining after sustaining a shoulder surgery last month.
As observed, players and staff must follow strict health protocols prescribed by the IATF.
The anticipated FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers will kick off this Feb. 18 to 21 in Clark, Pampanga.