Tough Gilas five sked starts with Euro stint
GILAS Pilipinas, whose 16-member national pool was finalized just this week, will leave for Europe in the next few days at the earliest for a training camp in Turkey and a pocket tournament in Estonia where competition is tougher compared to those in the Asian region.
Visa processing, though, could still prevent the Nationals from leaving on Aug. 13 for Turkey, where coach Tab Baldwin will put them into a back-breaking, week-long camp in their buildup for the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship in September in Hunan, China.
The tournament stakes the continent’s lone berth in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
A four-nation competition follows the team’s training camp with the Nationals going up against Estonia, Iceland and the Netherlands starting Aug. 21.
A stint in the Jones Cup, which another Gilas Pilipinas team won over the United States in 2012, is also listed in the Nationals’ immediate schedule.
That tournament, where Baldwin can scout the Fiba Asia opposition, is slated on Aug. 29 to Sept. 6 in Chinese-Taipei.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will then host its own four-nation, three-day tournament called MVP Cup where the Filipinos will take on New Zealand, Jordan and the Taiwanese.
Baldwin is cramming to get the Nationals accustomed to his system with the Fiba Asia slated to start on Sept. 22.
He is awaiting word from two-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, Marc Pingris and LA Tenorio to reconsider and play for the national team anew.
Fajardo is being bothered by a heel injury. Pingris is in France with his family to bond with his French father, while Tenorio said he suffers from fatigue.
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