In preparation for the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers window this coming February, the first batch of the Gilas Pilipinas Men pool will be entering their training bubble today at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
Continuing the plan of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to feature a younger crop of talents in preparation for the country’s hosting of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2023, several players who saw action in the last window were asked to rejoin the training pool.
The first batch heading into the training bubble includes 2019 PBA Rookie Draft selections Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, and Rey Suerte who will be joined by Javi Gomez de Liano, Dave Ildefonso, Justine Baltazar, Calvin Oftana, William Navarro, and Kenmark Carino.
Completing the first batch are naturalization candidate Angelo Kouame and Kiefer Ravena of the NLEX Road Warriors.
“These young men have not only proven their dedication to the Gilas program but have also shown their capability to work well as a team as we saw in the two games against Thailand in the last window,” said SBP President Al Panlilio. “I’m thankful for their commitment as we continue to lay the foundation for the team we will form in 2023.”
The coaching staff includes Gilas Pilipinas Men program director Tab Baldwin, SBP Coaches Commission head Jong Uichico, Boyet Fernandez, Sandy Arespachochaga, Caloy Garcia, and Norman Black.
“As always we appreciate the unwavering support of PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial and the PBA Board to the Gilas program,” said Panlilio. “We had very good discussions with the PBA and we were able to get the commitment of several PBA players who will be part of the second batch coming into the bubble training on January 22nd.”
All the players and staff entering the Gilas training bubble will follow a strict protocol as prescribed by the IATF.