Gilas Pilipinas to hold regular Monday practice
MANILA, Philippines–Looking to sustain the strides it has made during the previous Fiba window, national coach Chot Reyes revealed on Monday that it will begin instituting a regular weekly practice for Gilas Pilipinas by next week.
Reyes, who also serves as the concurrent program director, shared the development during a Senate hearing on Monday noon that tackled an array of sports topics, including the Philippines’ co-hosting of the 2023 World Cup.
“[W]hen the window draws nearer, the practices will be more frequent,” said Reyes, who joined Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ top executives in the hearing before the Senate Committee on Sports.
The Philippines is scheduled to play Jordan on Nov. 10 and then figure in a rematch with Saudi Arabia on Nov. 13 in the tournament that the cage leaders are using to identify players who will comprise the roster for the global showcase here in Aug. 25 next year.
Gilas is currently sporting a 3-3 record in Group E, and is coming off a scintillating victory over the Saudis largely thanks to Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson, who played for as a naturalized player.
Before whipping Saudi Arabia on home soil, the Filipinos lost to the Cedars in Lebanon, 85-81. Clarkson was also the spearhead of that bid, which fans and purists believe was lost due to short preparation time.
Gilas trained as a complete bunch only for a grand total of five days, and that does not include the time lost to traveling to Beirut.
Reyes said that the program is expecting standouts playing in Japan to join camp at least a week before the first match of each window.
“The important thing here not only the availability of players, but also the practice and preparation time,” said Reyes. “I think that’s the latest and the foremost update (on the national team) at this moment.”
“It’s not ideal, but it’s a lot better than the (setup) before,” he went on.
It could be recalled that the idea having Gilas train at least once each week was raised by Tim Cone, the decorated PBA coach who was tapped by Reyes in a stunning announcement back in June.
Reyes did not disclose the time and venue of Gilas’ new practice schedule, but the Nationals have since returned to practicing at Meralco Gym in Pasig City, its traditional training venue.
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