AFTER a grueling nine-day grind in the mountains of Greece, Gilas Pilipinas sets forth and starts to apply whatever it learned and adopted in its high-altitude training camp.
On Monday, the national team travelled for five hours from the so-called ‘Little Switzerland of Greece’ to the capital city of Athens, where it took a flight to Istanbul to play a tune-up game against fellow Olympic qualifier Turkey.
Gilas plays Turkey on Tuesday in one of two tune-up matches between the two teams prior to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Both countries meet each other again on July 1 in Manila.
On the eve of the team’s departure on Father’s Day, the team had a grand time feasting on a whole roasted lamb at the Montana Hotel and Spa, which served as home of the nationals for the last nine days.
“Another training camp in the books. There’s always a special sense of accomplishment and pride every time you go through this kind of grind for the country,” Gilas deputy coach Josh Reyes posted in IG account @joshreyes8.
“Very much impressed by how the guys consistently battled and worked extremely hard the past nine days Thank you Karpenisi and Montana (hotel) for taking good care of us. Off to Istanbul.”
Coach Tab Baldwin and the rest of Gilas will stay in the popular Turkish city for just two days and from there, proceed to Bologna, Italy for a pocket tournament against the host country and the national teams of Canada and China.
The Filipinos play the Italians first on the 25th, and then take on the loser of the Canada-China match, or the winner, should they beat the host the following day.
The team heads back to Manila by the 27th of the month.