CHOT Reyes is again bracing for the worst as Gilas Pilipinas' training for the next window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers goes full swing just a week before the team departs for Melbourne to face Australia.
The team is looking to start its daily practices by Feb.12, according to Reyes, or at least one week before Gilas leaves to do battle Down Under.
Originally, the coaching staff planned to conduct daily practices at the Meralco gym beginning on Feb. 5.
“Hopefully, we get them (together) starting on Feb. 12 or at least one week before we leave. But again, that’s going to be a determination made by the PBA together with the commissioner,” said Reyes.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial was present during the hour-long practice, but already left the venue before media men present tried to seek him out regarding the matter.
Cramming for a tournament however, is nothing new to Gilas, said Reyes.
“Sanay na tayo diyan. Umalis nga tayo for Beirut, (for FIBA Asia Cup) three days (before the tournament). Sa Beirut na lang kami nabuo,” Reyes said of a similar Gilas experience heading to its campaign in last year’s FIBA Asia Cup.
“It is what it is,” he added. “Of course, the more time, the better, pero that’s out of our hands.”
Reyes also disclosed naturalized player Andray Blatche won’t be released by his mother ballclub the Xinjiang Flyong Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) until either Feb. 12 or 13.
“It’s an entire CBL rule. Hopefully we’re trying to get his team to release him earlier, but I think the official CBL window is Feb. 12 to 26 ang release ng players,” said the Gilas coach.