Gilas Pilipinas is set to break camp after months inside its training bubble at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) SAP Ryan Gregorio bared the development on The Chasedown, Saturday.
The Filipino dribblers re-entered the bubble last April 26 in preparation for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ third window next month in Clark.
But on Sunday, players and coaches will go back to their respective homes and take a break before returning to Calamba on May 22.
“I think it is an opportunity for them to re-energize.
“We all need it, I mean, they’ve been in the bubble for such a long time. It is not a comfortable situation for them, the environment is totally different. What you need at this point is a little comfort level. Kasi pagbalik nila, sunud-sunod, tuloy-tuloy na ‘yan,” said Gregorio.
“That is why it’s just important for us to understand the sacrifices of these gallant men, of course together with Ate Yvette who’s the lone female in the bubble, talagang for the service of our flag and country. Kaya saludo talaga doon sa mga nagsa-sakripisyo para lang talagang mapag-silbihan ang ating bayan,” he continued.
Players inside the bubble are the first batch of Gilas draftees Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Isaac Go, and Rey Suerte along with this year’s picks in Jordan Heading, William Navarro, Tzaddy Rangel, and Jaydee Tungcab.
Also in are Kemark Carino, Javi Gomez de Liano, Dave Ildefonso, SJ Belangel, RJ Abarrientos, Carl Tamayo, Justine Baltazar, Jason Credo, Geo Chiu, Lebron Lopez, and naturalization candidate Ange Koame.
Coaches of the team inside are Tab Baldwin, Jong Uichico, Sandy Arespacochaga, Boyet Fernandez, Caloy Garcia, Alton Lister, Sandro Soriano, and trainer Dex Aseron.
Gregorio said that this is to give the young Gilas team a break before the tougher grind ahead.
Shortly after the ACQ on June 16-20, the Nationals will head to Serbia for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament set on June 29-July 4.
“So they will be back on Inspire on May 22 and they will practice once again. And then they are looking at a June 13 entry date sa Clark, ‘yun na yung preparation natin for the tournament in Clark.
That will run from June 16 to 21. A few days after, lalakbay naman sa bansang Serbia for the Olympic Qualifying tournament slated on June 25 to July 2,” said Gregorio.
“So it’s going to be a very busy schedule for our 5-on-5 team.”
Dwight Ramos is already in Manila and clearing quarantine protocols while Kai Sotto has yet to arrive.