Day or two at the beach help soothe aching bodies, boost morale for Gilas side
Gilas wingman Gabe Norwood says he and the rest of the Gilas team appreciate the break given them from the rigorous training for the Fiba Asia Championship. Ron Tolin

CEBU CITY – Like a student cramming for a periodical exam, it’s always a welcome breather for Gilas Pilipinas to enjoy the sand and beach even once in a while.

Gilas team manager Butch Antonio again made sure about the perfect balance for the team’s work and pleasure activities for the second day in a row.

On Thursday, the national players spent time at the Maribago Bluewater Cebu, another posh resort here, just a day after spending a relaxing afternoon at the famed Plantation Bay resort.

The needed breather is very much appreciated, according to Gilas wingman Gabe Norwood.

“It’s always a good time when we get a chance to get away even for just a while. Because all this is hard, man,” said the athletic two-guard of Rain or Shine and one of four holdovers from Gilas 2.0 that won silver medal in the 2013 Fiba Asia Men’s Championship in Manila.

[See Tightly knit Gilas team savors 'family outing']

Shortly after arriving at the Maribago Bluewater, Terrence Romeo, Marc Pingris, and the ageless Asi Taulava didn’t lose time frolicking in the sand, basked under the sun, and rode the jetski to watch the sights around the various islands.   

Though seen as among the veterans in the team, Norwood said he still considers himself to be a newbie on Gilas 3.0, having never played for coach Tab Baldwin before.

“We're all new kids here. None of us have played for Coach Tab (Baldwin) before. This is all new for everyone. Really just trying to process a lot stuff in such a short period of time. They’re all doing a great job, trying their best in an effort to learn everything,” Norwood shared.

Jayson Castro, another holdover from the 2013 Gilas team, echoed Norwood’s sentiments saying the Cebu trip is doing wonders for the team’s chemistry, both on and off the court.

[See This Gilas batch forges unique chemistry - and finds own identity]

“Ang maganda dito is talagang nagkakausap-usap kami. Sa Manila kasi, pagkatapos ng practice, kanya-kanyang uwian na yan.

“Dito sa Cebu, nagkakausap na kami sa hotel kung ano ang dapat namin gawin at importante 'yan dahil yang chemistry na 'yan ang magdadala sa amin patungo sa championship,” said the man they call ‘The Blur.’

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