Once beset by injuries, Gilas Pilipinas slowly getting to better form | Inquirer Sports

Once beset by injuries, Gilas Pilipinas slowly getting to better form

Women’s team bows to Australia
/ 04:30 AM June 27, 2023

Gilas Pilipinas Europe camp Fiba World Cup

Gilas Pilipinas members during training camp in Estonia. -SBP PHOTO

Things are turning positive in a Gilas Pilipinas camp previously beset by injuries.

Everyone seems to be getting better.


“We’re seeing very good movement,” national coach Chot Reyes said in a dispatch from Tallinn, Estonia, released by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on Monday.


“Japeth [Aguilar] is moving very well, June Mar [Fajardo] is moving well and we’re very encouraged with the development and the improvement of the injury of AJ [Edu] as he’s the only one we needed to nurse back [to health].”

As for the other players, they have been neck-deep in conditioning, according to Reyes.

“We’re in the loading part of our program in our cycle. We’re going to start unloading [soon]. So a lot of heavy conditioning, and like I’ve said, we’re very happy with everything that’s going on,” he said.

Things were pretty tough for the national women’s team in Australia, however.

Already undersized, the Philippines struggled with frosty shooting on Monday night to absorb a 105-34 whipping at the hands of the host squad in the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) Women’s Asia Cup.

Gilas Pilipinas shot a horrendous 12 of 62 from the field for its worst loss against the Opals, who delighted the home crowd at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre.

Vanessa De Jesus Gilas Women Fiba Asia Cup

Gilas Pilipinas Women’s Vanessa De Jesus at the Fiba Women’s Asia Cup. FIBA ASIA PHOTO

Duke playmaker Vanessa de Jesus was the lone Filipino to reach twin digits, finishing 18 points in her national program debut.

The men’s team is making strides just in time for its series of tuneup games which will begin this Tuesday against the Estonian national team.

Reyes said that Justin Brownlee, one of the naturalized players tapped for the World Cup buildup, will be suiting up in the match against the World No. 44 host.

But he is not getting his hopes too high as the beloved Ginebra import is coming off a nonbasketball medical procedure which has kept him from joining the program’s earlier leg of preparations in Manila and Laguna province.

“We fully expect him to play against Estonia although we realize he may not be 100 percent game shape yet, but like I’ve said, this is all part of the process, part of the development,” Reyes said.

Gilas will be playing Finland on June 28 and will travel to Kaunas, Lithuania, the next day for “four or five” more games to “build resilience” in preparation for the global meet set on Aug. 25.

Kiefer Ravena, who suited up for the Philippines in the last edition of the World Cup held in China, said that he is expecting the squad to go through the wringer. But just like Reyes and his deputy Tim Cone, the high-IQ playmaker believes they’re on the right path toward development.

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“[W]e have to really hasten everything and fast-track the improvement of the team as one unit. I think we’re doing fine, we’re in good condition physically and mentally in preparation for August,” he said in an earlier interview.


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TAGS: Chot Reyes, Fiba World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas, SBP

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