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    SBP says it's 'super important' for Gilas to reclaim SEA Games gold

    SBP not taking SEA Games mission for granted
    Apr 26, 2023
    gilas pilipinas practice for sea games meralco gym
    PHOTO: Karlo Sacamos

    ALTHOUGH preparations for the 2023 FIBA World Cup are in full swing, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio assured Gilas Pilipinas remains focused on reclaiming the Southeast Asian Games trophy.

    "SEA Games is equally important," said Panlilio during the partnership announcement of SBP and San Miguel Corporation for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. "First goal is to win the [SEA Games] gold. [It's] super important to win it back."

    The men's squad, which has been pushing forth training sessions at Meralco Gym in Pasig with less than half of its 28-man pool present in the past few weeks, is expected to have its first complete practice on Wednesday with the arrival of players from PBA Governors' Cup finalists TNT and Barangay Ginebra.

    READ: Gilas pool shrinks as Fajardo doubtful for SEA Games

    Naturalized player Justin Brownlee along with Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, and Gin Kings coach Tim Cone are expected to take part in the campaign. With only 10 days left to prepare, the team will set up a short camp at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna before departing for Cambodia for the biennial meet.


    "They start practice if I'm not mistaken tomorrow and for the next three days and then they go to Inspire before they leave for Cambodia," he said.


      "For them just to be in one spot... For the coaching staff and the players to come together, stick together for a few days, [and] build camaraderie and brotherhood. Hopefully, when they go to battle, at least mas close sila as a team."

      As soon as the SEA Games campaign ends, the team will start its months-long preparation for the FIBA World Cup in August.

      "After [the SEA Games] I think there is a plan to start practicing as a pool. There are scheduled or planned trips in Europe or US," he shared. "The intention is to expose them to other teams in friendlies abroad which will start some time after the SEA Games. June, July is preparation time."

      Al Panlilio and Chot Reyes

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      Gilas saw its three-decade reign in Southeast Asia come to an end after falling to Indonesia in the 2022 SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

      Indonesia, meanwhile, is intensifying its preparations to defend the gold with a month-long training camp in Australia since April, going up against NBL1 semi-pro teams.

      Tip-off of basketball competitions at the Cambodia SEA Games is slated from May 6-16.

      Get more of the latest sports news & updates on SPIN.ph

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      PHOTO: Karlo Sacamos
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