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2024 Summer Olympics

Gilas receive invitation from European powerhouses for OQT buildup

Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tim Cone bared that invitations have come their way for their build-up toward the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024 in July.

The veteran mentor said that European teams such as Lithuania and Slovenia have invited the Philippine team to come over, as other federations are also keen on preparing the best they could in a bid to get tickets for Paris.

“We’ve got some invitations from Lithuania, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic, we’re gonna work our way through those and see what we can do,” he said.

Nothing is set in stone yet, though, with the Philippine team given just 10 days to prepare for FIBA windows as per the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ agreement with other basketball stakeholders like the PBA and the UAAP.

That includes the OQT – where Gilas will be playing in Latvia – as well. “The window for us to do it is only 10 days,” said the 65-year-old bench tactician.

“That’s our agreement with the PBA, that’s our agreement with the NCAA and UAAP, and also the agreement with the Japan league – they can only release them for so long for a FIBA window. Ten days it is for us,” he added.

FIBA-Asia-Cup-Q-Carl-Tamayo-Japhet-Aguilar-Chris-Newsome-3528 Gilas receive invitation from European powerhouses for OQT buildup 2024 Summer Olympics Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News  - philippine sports news

Cone disclosed the development moments after the Filipino dribblers wrapped up their Window 1 campaign in the Asia Cup 2025 Qualifiers by way of a dominant 106-53 conquest of Chinese Taipei at the Philsports Arena.

Gilas finished the window with a perfect 2-0 slate, with their first win a 94-64 romping of Duncan Reid and Hong Kong at the Tsuen Wan Stadium.

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Cone and the rest of the team wished that there was still one more game this window as this was their first rodeo together since the PBA’s winningest mentor’s appointment as the program’s head coach last January.

“We were just talking in the locker room about how this kinda feels like an ending right now because we won’t play again until another three or four months, even five months. So it kinda feels like an ending for us,” he said.

“We were like, we wish we had one more game, or another game to play like next week or in a couple of days, so we could keep this group together. But it’s not something we control,” he added. “They gotta get back.

“Kai’s gotta get back to his team in Japan and fulfill his contract. The PBA starts in a few days. So it’s back to the grind,” added the Ginebra head coach.

As happy as they are with the perfect window, Cone reiterated that this is only a small step towards the goal they’ve been aiming for in the program.

“This 2-0 start is great, but it’s just a little baby step on the way.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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