CEBU CITY – The location may have changed but the mission remains the same for Gilas Pilipinas.
The national team didn’t lose time and went to work immediately shortly upon arriving in the Queen City of the South for the final phase of its buildup for the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship in Changsha, China next week.
The team arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport mid noon of Monday and then went straight to its hotel in Lapu-Lapu City for lunch and a brief rest, before heading out for the Hoops Dome in time for its 5 p.m. practice.
Security around the all-pro team has been tight in keeping with coach Tab Baldwin’s wish to have the nationals train in seclusion and away from the prying eyes of the public for the final phase of their preparation for the September 23 to October 3 meet that offers a ticket to next year’s Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
Other than a scheduled press conference to be held after its morning practice on Tuesday, no other public appearances are scheduled for Gilas until the team leaves for Manila on Friday.
According to a source privy to the team’s itinerary, Gilas is set to practice twice a day – one at midday and another at night – until Friday.
The same source also added all training sessions will be held behind closed doors, with local media barred from going to the gym.
Gilas will also have a mini team-building session on Wednesday morning at one of the swanky resorts in Lapu-Lapu City.