Bright Akhuetie leads new faces as Gilas gathers up to start Fiba Asia Champions Cup buildup
Kiefer Ravena, Bright Akhuetie, and Jeron Teng were among the attendees in Gilas first practice for the Fiba Asia Champions Cup. Jerome Ascano

NEW faces from the amateur ranks showed up as Gilas Pilipinas started its buildup on Monday night for the Fiba Asia Champions Cup starting next week in Chenzhou, China.

Jeron Teng, Andre Paras, Achie Iñigo, and Jett Manuel were the fresh faces in attendance for the squad, which will carry the banner of Chooks To Go to justify its inclusion in the eight-team club tournament.

Bright Akhuetie was also present as the import of the team that also had Gilas mainstays Carl Bryan Cruz, Kiefer Ravena, and Raymar Jose in attendance.

"It's just a pre-practice to gather the players," national coach Chot Reyes insisted, saying the first official training session is on Wednesday when naturalized player prospect Isaiah Austin is taking part of.

To make up the numbers, Fil-Am Robbie Herndon, Fil-Canadian Clay Crellin, American Jamal Thomas, Mikee Reyes, and Joseph Gabayni came as practice players.

Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, and Ray Parks also showed up but were just in street clothes.

Meanwhile, another import and naturalized player candidate in Isaiah Austin is set to arrive Tuesday night, 9:45 pm, and will join Gilas in practice on Wednesday.

The 7-foot-1 center is coming off a stint in China with the Guangxi Rhinos. 

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