Asian Games

Gilas Pilipinas men, women open joint practice to public

Philip Matel

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Gilas Pilipinas men, women open joint practice to public

MAIN MAN. Philippines' Justin Donta Brownlee banners the Gilas men's squad in the Asian Games.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

Fans can watch the practice session of Gilas Pilipinas men and women’s teams for free

MANILA, Philippines — For the first time, both the Gilas Pilipinas men’s and women’s teams will hold a joint practice on Thursday, September 14, as they gear up for the Asian Games this month.

Unlike the closed-door training of the men’s team during the 2023 FIBA World Cup buildup, the joint practice on Thursday will be open to the public starting at 4 pm at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City. 

“We’re excited to promote the men’s and women’s team,” said Gilas men’s coach Tim Cone.

“We’re looking forward to it… I love the way coach Pat (Aquino of Gilas Women) coaches his team and we’ll be supporting them all the way.”  

Cone said there will be “no tickets necessary” as he wants to the public to “come and observe” the proceedings. 

For Aquino, longtime mentor of the women’s team, it is a step in the right direction in terms of a unified front for the country’s basketball program. 

“I’d like to thank coach Tim Cone for inviting us to attend their training on Thursday,” Aquino told Rappler.

“It will be nice for the players to come together and feel that they are behind one community supporting each other.”

Gilas Women sharpshooter Khate Castillo also expressed her excitement at meeting their male counterparts.

Both teams aim for podium finishes in the Asian Games, which kicks off on September 23 in Hangzhou, China.

The men’s national team last won a medal, a bronze in 1998, incidentally under Cone, while the women’s team looks to do it for the first time.

The 13-man Gilas roster include national team returnees Calvin Abueva and Terrence Romeo, and World Cup players June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, Roger Pogoy, and Japeth Aguilar.

Also making up the team are naturalized players Justin Brownlee and Ange Kouame, along with Stanley Pringle, Chris Newsome, Calvin Oftana, Jason Perkins, and Mo Tautuaa.

On the distaff side, it will feature many of the team’s mainstays like Castillo, but according to Aquino, the list has yet to be finalized. —

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