TWENTY players have been invited back to the Gilas Pilipinas training bubble at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna on Monday.
Naturalized player candidate Ange Kouame spearhead the delegation together with La Salle center Justine Baltazar, University of the Philippines' Javi Gomez de Liano and Carl Tamayo, Far Eastern University gunner RJ Abarrientos, San Beda big man Kemark Carino, and Ateneo players Lebron Lopez, Dave Ildefonso, SJ Belangel, Jason Credo, and Geo Chiu.
They will join Gilas draftees Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, twins Matt and Mike Nieto, Jordan Heading, William Navarro, Tzaddy Rangel, and Jaydee Tungcab in the pool.
Dwight Ramos is also part of the pool, although Gilas is still awaiting the return of the Fil-Am guard who is currently in the United States.
"We appreciate everyone’s eagerness to rejoin the bubble and we’re hopeful that the team will get to pick up where they left things off before they broke camp," said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio.
Ommisions from the last camp include Blue Eagles Chris Koon, Gian Mamuyac, Troy Mallillin, Josh Lazaro, and Kyle Ong.
The national federation also remains in constant communication with the camp of Kai Sotto for his possible participation in the bubble.
The 7-foot-3 center, who recently signed with the Adelaide 36ers of the Australian National Basketball League (NBL) and is currently training in Miami, has committed to join the team in the Olympic qualifiers and Fiba Asia Cup.
Joining the roster of coaches going inside Inspire Sports Academy are SBP program director Tab Baldwin, coaches Jong Uichico, Sandy Arespacochaga, Boyet Fernandez, Caloy Garcia, Alton Lister, and Sandro Soriano, and trainer Dexter Aseron.
Gilas is resuming its preparations for the third window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers, set in Clark from June 16 to 20, where the Philippines will face Korea twice and Indonesia once, needing only one victory to formalize its ticket to the continental showpiece in Indonesia come August.
Aside from the final window of qualifiers, from this pool will also emerge the team for the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade in July.
There, Gilas is set to face host Serbia and Dominican Republic, needing to finish in the top two of the group to advance to the semifinals.
Only the winner of the Belgrade OQT will progress to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, together with the winners of separate qualifiers in Victoria, Split, and Kaunas.
"The FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers and the OQT are fast approaching and, although the postponements have been tough on everyone, we remain confident that this training pool will put in the work necessary to to perform at their best," said Panlilio.