PROOF that it is dead-serious in its first-ever encounter against Australia, Gilas Pilipinas began practicing behind closed doors on Monday all the way next week when the team departs for Melbourne for the second window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
Coach Chot Reyes begged for the public's understanding on the team's decision not to allowfans and media to watch the national pool in training just before practice at the West Greenhills gym.
"Gilas practices will be closed door starting today," Reyes announced on his Twitter account @coachot. "Hoping for everyone's understanding."
The Monday training kicks off the national pool's daily practices for the next eight days before it leaves for Australia on Feb. 19, three days before its highly-anticipated match-up with the Boomers.
Like Gilas, Australia is unbeaten in two games for a share of the lead in Group B.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche also joined Gilas for the first time since the opening window of the qualifiers last November. He arrived in the country last Friday.
Blatche was joined by Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Kiefer Ravena, Roger Pogoy, Kevin Alas, Calvin Abueva, Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, Abu Tratter, and Carl Bryan Cruz.
Aguilar though didn't join the scrimmage and just watched the action from the sidelines.