By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team just kicked off its preparations for the upcoming FIBA World Cup after setting up their training camp inside the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna last June 17, 2023.
Gilas will be conducting a four-day camp that will end until June 20, 2023, before flying to Europe for another international training stint and a couple of friendly games.
Leading the participants inside the Inspire Sports Academy are Gilas veterans June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, and Kiefer Ravena.
Also making their presence in the four-day camp are Jamie Malonzo, Thirdy Ravena, CJ Perez, Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome, and JP Erram.
Meanwhile, the younger members that were invited to the 21-man pool that came early are AJ Edu, Ange Kouame, and Rhenz Abando.
Those expected to arrive in a few days are RR Pogoy, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Calvin Oftana, and Dwight Ramos.
The squad will still be mentored by long-time tactician Chot Reyes and will be assisted by Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s coach Tim Cone.
Several days ago, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) already announced that both Jordan Clarkson and Kai Sotto will not be joining the team in their Europe training camp.
“Except for Clarkson and Sotto, the active players in the pool are on call for scheduled pre-World Cup pocket tournaments and tune-up matches in Europe against the Estonian national team, Finland, Lithuania and Latvia,” said SBP in their official statement.
Justin Brownlee, the team’s newly-naturalized player, is still in the US and is expected to arrive in the country in the next few days.