Rising COVID-19 cases bursts Gilas Pilipinas’ bubble
MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas’ buildup has hit another snag.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on Monday announced the Philippine national team pool was forced to break camp anew due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.
The SBP said the decision is also in compliance with the Philippine Sports Commission’s instructions to all National Sports Associations to temporarily suspend “all indoor and outdoor training of all national team members within the affected areas.”
Beginning Monday until April 4, the National Capital Region along with Bulacan, Rizal and Laguna are under enhanced community quarantine.
“As always, we will remain supportive of the decisions coming from the PSC and will also strictly follow the relevant precautionary measure from the Department of Health and the IATF,” said SBP president Al Panlilio in a statement.
“The timing is unfortunate because our Gilas Pilipinas pool has been putting a lot of work to prepare for FIBA competitions in the coming months. It’s been a difficult stretch for the SBP and the team as COVID-19 has affected so many of our plans but we have no other choice but to adjust and move forward.”
Gilas Pilipinas has just re-entered the bubble at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna earlier this month.
As per the COVID-19 bulletin from the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, the Philippines recorded a new high for single-day increases with 10,016 cases.
Gilas, under the guidance of program director Tab Baldwin, was preparing for the third and final window of the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers and the Fiba Olympic qualifiers in June.
“Right now, we all have to hunker down and stay safe at home. We thank our players, coaches, and staff for soldiering on amidst the difficult situation.”
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