Gilas vows best fight despite lack of preparation
Gilas Pilipinas landed on Bahrain on Sunday, passed its COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements the day after and plunged back to practice on Tuesday to prepare as best it could for Thailand as it resumes its Fiba Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers bid in a bubble setting in Manama.
“We’re going to give it everything we have in terms of preparations, which we have to fast-track,” Gilas coach Jong Uichico told the Inquirer over the phone, a few minutes before lunch with his hardy gang.
“Under the [health] circumstances back home, I really can’t say that we were able to prepare the way we wanted. But we prepared as best we can.”
Team Philippines ripped Indonesia apart in the first window, 100-70 in Jakarta, but that was more than nine months ago, when the country had the luxury of a deeper pool to pick from. This time, the Filipinos flew to Bahrain taking a very young team anchored on Ange Kouame, Kobe Paras and Dave Ildefonso.
“This is a very young team and we are new and new to each other,” Uichico said. “I am new to them and they are new to me. But it’s all good.”
Friday will be the first of two games against the Thais, with the second on Nov. 30.
Philippine Basketball Association players are absent on this Gilas squad, which will also be comprised of brothers Javi and Juan Gomez de Liaño, Justine Baltazar, Calvin Oftana, Dwight Ramos, Jaydee Tungcab, Will Navarro and Kenmark Cariño and completed by Mike and Matt Nieto, Rey Suerte, Isaac Go and Allyn Bulanadi, all PBA Draft selections on loan to Gilas Pilipinas.
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