CEBU CITY – Gilas Pilipinas has chosen the Queen City of the South to be the base camp for their final preparations for the 2015 Fiba Asia Men’s Championships in Changsha, China.
Gilas 3.0 is set to fly in on Monday and will be staying until the end of the week in the acknowledged basketball hotbed of the South, which will offer the team less distractions and afford it both time and space to refine their game plan for the upcoming Olympic qualifier for Asia.
National coach Tab Baldwin had said that the team will go into 'seclusion' the week before the September 23 to October 3 tournament to put 'new things' in the game plan and smoothen flaws.
“Grabe kasi ang traffic sa Manila. Minsan nagpa-practice kami sa umaga pero di kami nakakauwi until gabi na kasi nga masyadong traffic. So bugbog talaga sa katawan. So minabuti nila na sa Cebu na kami mag training camp para mas smooth ang takbo ng preparations namin,” said Dondon Hontiveros in his native tongue.
Hontiveros also related to Spin.ph the upcoming week-long southern sojourn will not only offer them precious court time together but also time to forge an even closer bond together off it.
“Yun lang talaga ang gagawin namin dito. Practice and then, bond. Parang team building na rin. We were supposed to have something like this in Turkey right before our Estonia trip pero yun nga, hindi natuloy because hindi pa kumpleto ang mga papeles namin,” added Hontiveros, whose lights-out shooting helped the Gilas overcome the New Zealand Saints in the Jones Cup in Taiwan last week.
“Pero even during the Estonia trip, even though wala kami panalo nun, we managed to get to know each other better at nakita nyo naman ang epekto sa laro namin sa Taiwan.
"So hopefully, ikagaganda ng laro namin ang pagpunta naming sa Cebu,” shared Hontiveros, who started making a name for himself while playing for the University of Cebu and the Cebu Gems in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association.
Before the Cebu 'seclusion,' Gilas gets to see action in the MVP Cup in Manila this weekend where the nationals will face Talk N Text, the Saints and Chinese Taipei’s national squad.