GILAS RE-ENTERS CALAMBA BUBBLE TO RESUME TRAINING FOR FIBA ASIA WINDOW, OQT ACCUMULATION
Gilas Pilipinas is ready to return to its training camp at Inspire Sports Academy to resume its preparations for both the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament later this year.
The national team headed to Calamba, Laguna bubble on Monday.
The SBP brought in a young pool without any PBA players on sight last March, however, the camp was forced to put on hold for over two weeks after the government declared a new improved community quarantine at NCR Plus as COVID-19 cases increased.
“The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas followed the instructions of the Philippine Sports Commission when they asked all national athletes to stop their training during the Enhanced Community Quarantine,” Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio said in a statement.
“When the IATF (Interagency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases) announced that they would remove those limitations, we immediately worked to bring the team back together. Of course, there were protocols that we had to complete, including testing for everyone in the group, but the team is ready to go back to work.”
Guests at training camp are naturalization candidate Ange Kouame, along with 2019 PBA Rookie Draft picks Matt and Mike Nieto, Isaac Go, and Rey Suerte.
Also, this year’s picks Jordan Heading, William Navarro, Tzaddy Rangel, and Jaydee Tungcab will enter the bubble.
Moreover, part of the pool are cadets Dwight Ramos, Justine Baltazar, Javi Gomez de Liano, Dave Ildefonso, and Kemark Carino, University of the Philippines forward Carl Tamayo, Far Eastern University standout RJ Abarrientos, and Ateneo players Lebron Lopez, SJ Belangel, Gian Mamuyac, Josh Lazaro, Chris Koon, Geo Chiu, Jason Credo, Troy Mallillin, and Kyle Ong.
Kai Sotto, who recently inked a multi-year deal with the Adelaide 36ers of the Australian National Basketball League (NBL), is also set to join the pool on a still to be determined date
Gilas Pilipinas will take action in June for the third window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in Clark, needing only one win in games against Korea (twice) and Indonesia to secure a spot in the tournament proper.
The team will then fly to Belgrade, Serbia, to play in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament from June 29 to July 4 against the host country and the Dominican Republic.
Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 team is also expected to come to Inspire Sports Academy.
The federation announced last week that the team, made up of CJ Perez, Mo Tautuaa, Joshua Munzon, and Alvin Pasaol, as well as pool members Karl Dehesa and Santi Santillan, will begin preparations in Calamba for the Fiba 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament set in Graz, Austria from May 25 to 30.
“We appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm to rejoin the bubble and we are hopeful that the team can pick up where they left off before breaking camp,” said Panlilio.
“The FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers and the OQT are fast approaching and while the postponements have been tough for everyone, we remain confident that this training group will do the work necessary to perform at their best.”