Gilas to re-enter Calamba bubble for Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers, OQT buildup
MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas is set to return its training camp bubble in Calamba, Laguna to prepare for both the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The team will head to Calamba on Monday.
Gilas had already started training at Inspire Sports Academy but was forced to break camp at the end of March after the government declared a new enhanced community quarantine in NCR Plus as COVID-19 cases spiked to more than 3,000 a day.
“The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas heeded the instructions of the Philippine Sports Commission when they asked all national athletes to halt their training during the Enhanced Community Quarantine,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio in a statement.
“When the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases) announced that they will be lifting those limitations, we immediately worked on getting the team back together. Of course, there were protocols that we had to complete including the testing for all the members of the pool but the team’s ready to go back to work.”
Those invited to the training camp are 2019 PBA Rookie Draft selections Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Isaac Go, and Rey Suerte along with this year’s picks in Jordan Heading, William Navarro, Tzaddy Rangel, and JD Tungcab.
Kemark Carino, Javi Gomez de Liano, Dave Ildefonso, SJ Belangel, RJ Abarrientos, Carl Tamayo, Justine Baltazar, Jason Credo, Geo Chiu, Lebron Lopez, and naturalization candidate Ange Kouame are also invited while Dwight Ramos will join the camp after he arrives from the United States.
Gilas will first compete in the Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers from June 16 to 20 against Indonesia and South Korea in Clark, Pampanga.
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.
Supervising the camp are Gilas Pilipinas Men’s Team Program Director Tab Baldwin, head coach Jong Uichico, Sandy Arespacochaga, Boyet Fernandez, Caloy Garcia, Alton Lister, Sandro Soriano, and trainer Dex Aseron.
“We appreciate everyone’s eagerness to rejoin the bubble and we’re hopeful that the team will get to pick up where they left things off before they broke camp,” said Panlilio. “The FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers and the OQT are fast approaching and, although the postponements have been tough on everyone, we remain confident that this training pool will put in the work necessary to perform at their best.”
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