Gilas Pilipinas welcomes more amateur players to its training camp as the all-cadets national team sets to start practice at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba on Monday.

/ 16 March 2021

As the youth movement continues for the national team, Blue Eaglet standout Francis ‘LeBron’ Lopez banners the new names invited to join the pool.

Lopez is among the 11 new faces in the roster which Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) program director Tab Baldwin enlisted mainly from Ateneo to reinforce the current Gilas cadet’s lineup.

Spin.ph sources confirmed that joining Lopez in the Calambubble are Blue Eagles’ players SJ Belangel, Gian Mamuyac, Forthsky Padrigao, Josh Lazaro, Geo Chiu, Troy Mallillin, Jason Credo, and Kyle Ong.

Baldwin confirmed that the pool has arrived in Calamba on Monday and has undergone mandatory RT-PCR tests before starting training for three tournaments, beginning with the June window of the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in Clark.

Also joining the new recruits for the training are University of the Philippines’ Carl Tamayo and incoming Far Eastern University gunner RJ Abarrientos.

Moreover, prospective naturalized player Ange Kouame is also on board, as well as holdovers Dwight Ramos, Dave Ildefonso, and Chris Koon, who served as a practice player in the buildup for the November window of the FIBA Asia qualifiers.

Also set to enter the bubble is Tzaddy Rangel, who was one of the four new players drafted through the special Gilas round of the PBA Season 46 Rookie Draft.

Current Gilas pool members Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, and twins Matt and Mike Nieto, as well as new additions William Navarro, Jordan Heading, and Jaydee Tungcab are also expected to join the pool.

“Isaac Go, Matt and Mike Nieto and Rey Suerte will also enter the bubble once they have completed their health protocols.,” Baldwin said to Spin.ph.

Allyn Bulanadi, however, is still recovering from a fractured shoulder which he incurred last October.

Also in the pool are coaches Jong Uichico, Tab Baldwin, Caloy Garcia, Alton Lister, Boyet Fernandez, Sandy Arespacochaga, Gabby Severino, and Sandro Soriano.

The SBP and the PBA have decided to field an all-cadets team to the upcoming third window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in June set in Clark, the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade come July, and the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup in Indonesia in August.