LIKE a good soldier, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said it respects and will follow the order of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to suspend all trainings of the national team due to the recent spike in the cases of COVID-19.
In light of the memorandum over the weekend issued by the government sports agency, the SBP decided to break up Gilas Pilipinas' bubble training at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
“As always, we will remain supportive of the decisions coming from the PSC, and will also strictly follow the relevant precautionary measures from the Department of Health and the IATF,” said SBP President Al S. Panlilio.
“The timing is unfortunate because our Gilas Pilipinas pool has been putting a lot of work to prepare for the FIBA competitions in the coming months. It’s bee a difficult stretch for the SBP and the team as COVID-19 has affected so many of our plans, but we have no other choice but to adjust and move forward.”
The Gilas training camp began last March 15 with a team comprising of cadets preparing for the final window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qaulaifiers and the FIBA Olympic Qualifiers in June under program director Tab Baldwin and head coach Jong Uichico.
But due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) imposed within the National Capital Region Plus from March 29 to April 4, the PSC issued an order to all National Sports Associations (NSAs) that all ‘indoor and outdoor training of all national team members within the affected areas are temporarily suspended.’
“Right now, we all have to hunker down and stay safe at home. We thank our players, coaches, and staff for soldiering on amidst the difficult situation,” Panlilio added.