THIRTEEN days away from its first game in Bahrain, Gilas Pilipinas has buckled down to work on Friday afternoon.
The youthful 16-man pool wasted no time beginning its buildup for the November window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
Save for Kobe Paras, all pool members were present for the training bubble as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) got the clearance from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Emerging Infectious Diseases on Friday morning.
It was a glimpse of what the future holds for Philippine basketball, with some of the top collegiate talents making up the pool for the series of games later this month.
That included Ivorian center Ange Kouame, who is seeking to be a naturalized player for the country in preparation for the 2023 Fiba World Cup.
The pool is bannered by special Gilas draftees Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi and twins Matt and Mike Nieto, as well as fellow collegiate stars like Paras, Juan Gomez de Liano, Justine Baltazar, and Dave Ildefonso.
SBP program director Tab Baldwin has formed an intriguing cadets core, one the country can utilize in the ensuing international competitions with or without PBA reinforcements.
The training camp is only going to be a short one, with Gilas poised to fly to Manama on November 19.
The Philippines, currently sporting a 1-0 win-loss record in Group A, is set to take on Thailand on November 26, Korea on November 28, and Thailand anew on November 30.