19 present as Gilas begins prep for FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

Delfin Dioquino
19 present as Gilas begins prep for FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers
A hybrid cast turns up as Gilas Pilipinas gear ups for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers in two weeks

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas hit the ground running with its first practice for the maiden window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers with 19 of the 24-man pool in attendance on Thursday, February 6. 

National team head coach Mark Dickel oversaw the training session at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center in Ateneo as they gear up for the qualifiers, which kicks off with a home game against Thailand on February 20.

Gilas Pilipinas mainstays Kiefer Ravena, Roger Pogoy, CJ Perez and Troy Rosario showed up, joining a hybrid cast that includes former and current collegiate standouts. 

Among them were Thirdy Ravena, Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño, Dave Ildefonso, Dwight Ramos, and Jaydee Tungcab. 

Isaac Go, Matt and Mike Nieto, Rey Suerte, and Allyn Bulanadi – players loaned by the PBA to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas – also turned up. 

Meanwhile, Marc Pingris, Christian Standhardinger, Poy Erram, and Kobe Paras were present but were in street clothes and did not participate in the drills. 

Absent in the first practice were Ray Parks, Japeth Aguilar, Mac Belo, Matthew Wright, and Justine Baltazar. 

Just like the pool, the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff also features a mix of  mentors from the PBA and collegiate ranks. 

Helping Dickel, who will call the shots for the national team just for the first window, are Tab Baldwin, Alex Compton, Sandy Arespacochaga, and Topex Robinson. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.