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Caidic hopes Gilas continues to pattern program to NCC

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Tiebreaker Times Caidic hopes Gilas continues to pattern program to NCC Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  Gilas Pilipinas Men Allan Caidic

Allan Caidic likes the path Gilas Pilipinas is treading as the program has its sights locked on the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

The cage legend aired his sentiments on Wednesday’s In The Spotlight webinar by FilOil Flying V Sports and Blackwater Elite, streamed over Hoop Coaches International’s YouTube channel.

He was first asked in the webinar hosted by Ariel Vanguardia together with Rick Olivares and Joey Guillermo about Matt and Mike Nieto’s inclusion in Gilas’ pool, since he had worked with them before.

The PBA Hall of Famer said that he’s happy for both, and he later on expressed his opinion on Gilas.

“I’m happy.

“Natutuwa nga ako dahil sa nakikita ko kasi, ang Gilas program, for you to be effective… If we’re looking at 2023 — this is just my opinion — tama ‘yun, i-form mo na ‘yung team,” he said.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has already formed a pool of players that could potentially represent the country in the global tilt, which the country will co-host with Indonesia and Japan.

It features a bevy of young talents such as the Nieto twins, Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Allyn Bulanadi, Rey Suerte, and Jaydee Tungcab. The program will add more names moving forward.

According to Gilas program director Tab Baldwin, those players are set to undergo full-time training with the aim of honing and developing their skills to become fit for the international game.

Gilas, though, has yet to find a coach who can oversee Gilas on a full-time basis. The SBP has been searching for a new coach since Yeng Guiao’s resignation after a winless World Cup stint last year.

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The federation is looking for Gilas’ next naturalized player as well, and it plans to have a pool of candidates. Among the names are Angelo Kouame, Chris McCullough, and Justin Brownlee.

For Caidic, he sees similarities between the Gilas now and the famed Northern Cement program of the 1980s.

The Ron Jacobs-mentored NCC was composed of the top amateur players in the country then, and was reinforced by naturalized players Dennis Still, Jeff Moore, and Chip Engelland.

That program, which ran from 1980-86, is best known for lording over the Asian Basketball Confederation — now known as FIBA Asia — in 1985. The country has not regained the title since.

“Kung ang pattern nila is ‘yung NCC dati na programa, it’s almost the same naman,” said Caidic, who joined the NCC in 1984 during the national team’s stint in the PBA as a guest team.

“Kukuha na sila ngayon ng foreign coach, tapos meron ng prospect na naturalized players, and then itong mga batang ito — kasi saan ba kami nag-umpisa? College players din kami nung kunin kami ng NCC to represent the Philippines.

“Through practice, through teamwork, kumpiyansa, ‘yung experience abroad tsaka dito sa laro sa PB…. Na-gain namin ‘yun unti-unti with that core eh,” added the veteran internationalist.

So, Caidic hopes that Gilas’ plans to field the best possible squad for the 2023 cagefest will turn out successful.

“Hoping na maging maganda talaga ‘tong programa ng Gilas hanggang sa 2023.”

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