GILAS Pilipinas started its three-day training camp in Tagaytay yesterday in hopes of improving its chemistry and strengthening its bond ahead of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.
The national team traveled to Tagaytay Monday night after a practice session in the morning before starting its training Tuesday morning down south in Splendido.
Gilas’ training pool is currently composed of core players June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Calvin Abueva, Raymund Almazan, Matthew Wright, Gabe Norwood, Roger Pogoy, Allein Maliksi, Carl Bryan Cruz, Mac Belo and Kevin Alas.
While naturalized import Andray Blatche was expected to arrive Sunday, he’s still not around and the team still awaits his presence for more boost.
However, Blatche, through nhis Instagram account, guaranteed last Monday that he is Philippine-bound the soonest to take care of business.
“Be back with my brothers real soon to take care of business,” said Blatche in his post.
He is expected to join the team in Tagaytay the soonest once he arrives.
The Philippines is set to take on Japan on Nov. 24 at the Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports Gymnasium before facing Chinese Taipei on Nov. 27 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Australia will be the PH team’s final Group B foe.
In its first tune-up game last Saturday, Gilas Pilipinas was shocked by Alab Pilipinas of the Asean Basketball League, causing cause of concerns for national coach Chot Reyes, who saw no “positives” in the team’s performance.
The nationals bowed to Alab, 76-81, in a tune-up game on Saturday morning at the Meralco gym, prompting Reyes to say that the team “sucked big-time.”
Gilas played catch-up ball to Alab all throughout the game, before giving up the fight.
Only Jayson Castro and June Mar Fajardo scored in double figures for Gilas with 12 and 10 points, respectively.