Gilas Pilipinas will still continue to stay inside the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna despite the cancellation of the Clark hosting of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ third window.
This as FIBA Asia is currently looking for a new host for the final window for the Qualifiers.
“At this point, we continue practicing. The February window can still happen. We’re waiting for FIBA, in the next few days or next week, to give us an indication of what’s going to happen,” clarified Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio.
“We are hopeful that we can find a solution. FIBA is doing its best to look for another location where we could play the games. FIBA and the entire international basketball community as a whole have been heavily impacted by the effects of the pandemic, but we’re all working to find ways to push through with the games.”
The first batch of Gilas pool players featured Kiefer Ravena, Isaac Go, Calvin Oftana, Kemark Carino, Javi Gomez de Liaño, William Navarro, the Nieto twins, Dave Ildefonso, Justine Baltazar, Rey Suerte, and naturalized player candidate Angelo Kouame. They all arrived last January 10. CJ Perez and Justin Chua followed suit five days later.
The second batch included Juan Gomez de Liaño, Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, and Raul Soyud, and arrived last January 22. Dwight Ramos was the last to come in this past Sunday.
For the majority of the pool, they are already in tip-top shape heading into the two South Korea games and their final match against Indonesia.
“This is really a long-term program. We’re building towards the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2023.
“This is part of the journey that we have embarked on where we wanted to develop younger players together with veterans from the PBA, to create a core team that can be competitive in 2023. This is not just practicing for the window ,but we’re looking at building for 2023,” said Panlilio.
There is one more player the SBP is waiting on – Kai Sotto.
Sotto has already told G League Ignite that he will miss the start of their campaign in Disneyworld Florida. He remains focused on practicing with Gilas not just for the Asia Cup Qualifiers, but also for the 2023 World Cup.
“Kai is committed to joining the bubble regardless of whether we play here or elsewhere. He has said that he wanted to be here and we’re in talks with him to try and bring him here as soon as possible,” Panlilio said.
“It’s good for him to come in and also learn the system that we’re trying to implement in the national team to work with his teammates and have a feel of what the system will be. This will help him and help us, looking at 2023, how we can work towards forming a core team that will be competitive in the World Cup.”