MANILA, Philippines—The national basketball program is looking at sending Gilas Pilipinas into a pair of training camps overseas in preparation for the Fiba World Cup here in August next year.
No less than Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Al Panlilio bared the plan during the launch of the Volunteer Program for the Philippines’ cohosting of the global showcase slated from August 25 to September 10.
“[The players] start getting together by May. Most probably there’ll be a camp in the United States,” he told reporters during a scrum at Novotel in Quezon City.
“Maybe one in Europe and one in the US,” he went on.
Panlilio said that sending the National Five to a training camp in the States should also allow the cage program to reel in Filipino-American ace Jordan Clarkson, the Utah Jazz guard who served as a naturalized player for Gilas during the fourth window of the World Cup Asian qualifiers last August.
The SBP previously said that Clarkson is committed to joining Gilas’ preparations six weeks prior to the World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Japan and Indonesia.
Sending the National Five overseas mirrors the Philippines team’s buildup for the 2014 World Cup in Spain. There, a reduced pool ate, trained, and played together in France, Estonia, and in the States, whipping the bunch into a tightly-knit crew by the time it plunged into action in Seville.
The Philippines has been using the ACQ to prepare for the biggest caging meet on the planet. Gilas is currently 5-3 in the continental showcase and will figure in one more window this February, where it will play red-hot Lebanon and vengeful Jordan at Philippine Arena in Bulacan province.
Between now and the World Cup, the Philippines can also generate cohesion off the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in early May.