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2021 FIBA Asia Cup

12 players compose first batch of Gilas to enter ‘Calambubble’ — including Kouame

Twelve Gilas Pilipinas pool players entered Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, Sunday.

The sole PBA player to enter the bubble was NLEX’s Kiefer Ravena.

Ravena, the team captain of Gilas Pilipinas, played in the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, tallying 10 points, four steals, and three assists during the Philippines’ 100-70 romp of Indonesia last February 20.

Also entering the bubble were Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Rey Suerte, Javi Gomez de Liano, Dave Ildefonso, Justine Baltazar, Calvin Oftana, William Navarro, and Kemark Carino.

Naturalized candidate Angelo Kouame completed the 12-man cast. The 6-foot-10 Ivorian’s naturalization papers are still in the Senate and the House of Representatives, though.

“These young men have not only proven their dedication to the Gilas program, but have also shown their capability to work well as a team, as we saw in the two games against Thailand in the last window,” said SBP President Al Panlilio.

“I’m thankful for their commitment as we continue to lay the foundation for the team we will form in 2023.”

Composing the coaching staff are Gilas Pilipinas Men program director Tab Baldwin, SBP Coaches Commission head Jong Uichico, Boyet Fernandez, Sandy Arespachochaga, Caloy Garcia, Norman Black, and strength and conditioning coach Andrei Tolentino.

All the players and staff entering the Gilas training bubble will follow a strict protocol as prescribed by the IATF.

Gilas take on South Korea on February 18, Indonesia on the 20th, and Korea again on the 22nd in Clark.

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