In just two months’ time, Gilas Pilipinas will return to action.
But this time around, the second window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers will take place inside a bubble in an as-yet unannounced country.
Unlike past competitions, however, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will have to ask the Joint Administrative Order group for sports, consisting of the Games and Amusement Board, Philippine Sports Commission, and Department of Health, for clearance to train.
“Wala pa naman hihingi ang SBP sa amin,” said PSC National Training Director Marc Velasco.
Besides professional sports, the JAO Group is looking to give an exemption to national team athletes training for either the Olympics or the qualifiers.
Gilas, though a national team, will not train for the Olympics but for a qualifier to a continental event.
It even caught the SBP by surprise.
“I was just talking to Boss Al [Panlilio] last night and he did not mention it. So I presume this is new news to him just like it is for me,” said Gilas Men’s Program Director Tab Baldwin.
Since August 25, pro 3×3 and 5-on-5 teams have been allowed to do workouts by batches. Scrimmages though have yet to be cleared.
Besides getting clearance to train, Gilas also face the problem of player selection, as the PBA will be holding its bubble from October to December.
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