Gilas Pilipinas came back to work at the Inspire Sports Academy this week in Calamba, Laguna, where it is now preparing for the FIBA Asia Cup, amid the uncertainty surrounding the event, which will be held in Indonesia from August 17 to August 29.
Indonesia became an emerging hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic according to a New York Times study. More than 2.88 million cases have been registered in the country since 19 July, with more than 73,000 deaths.
In an effort to prevent the Delta COVID-19 variant out, the Philippines has now added Indonesia to a travel ban. The prohibition is valid from July 16-31.
“We are closely monitoring the situation,” assured Ryan Gregorio, special assistant to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio.
“As far as we are concerned, we are preparing as if it is all systems go for us,” he stressed.
After a short pause, Gilas Pilipinas currently returns to Inspire facility and is led by coach Tab Baldwin. Baldwin will still be calling shots in the FIBA Asia Cup, a fter leading the team to a final window of qualifications and a superb play in the FIBA Olympic Qualifications.
Thirdy Ravenna returns to the Gilas Pilipinas pool, who played the final FIBA Asia Cup qualification in February 2020 for the Philippines.
Allyn Bulanadi, Dave Ildefonso, Matt Nieto, Tzaddy Rangel, Rey Suerte and Jaydee Tungcab who have missed to partake in both FIBA contests owing to their respective injuries are also back in the pool.
Meanwhile, the FIBA and OQT players, Justin Baltazar, SJ Belangel, Geo Chiu, Isaac Go, Jordan Heading, Ange Kouame, Will Navarro, Mike Nieto, Dwight Ramos, and Carl Tamayo are all playing as well. The availability of Kai Sotto remains to be determined.
Coaches Sandy Arespachochaga, Jong Uichico and Boyet Fernandez, and conditioning coach Dex Aseron are also inside Baldwin’s bubble.