THE Gilas cadets have only three weeks, well short of the three-month preparation the team had last year, and coach Nash Racela is hoping it would be enough as they battle regional rivals in the 2016 Seaba Cup from May 22 to 28 in Bangkok.
“Previously, we had three months of preparation. This time, we are hoping that it will be enough. We could never say. The only gauge is the actual tournament,” said Racela.
Only five players from last year’s team are back, and Racela said that due to unavailability of players he has picked up several “future Gilas cadet” cagers for the Seaba Cup.
The top two teams in the Seaba Cup will advance to the Fiba Asia Challenge set September in Iran.
“Some of them are part of the previous Gilas cadets team that we have sa Seaba and SEA Games. But a lot of them are new. They are actually part of the future Gilas cadets program but because some players are not available for this tournament, we were forced to include them in the final lineup,” Racela said.
PBA players Troy Rosario and Almond Vosotros are back, along with Mac Belo, Kevin Ferrer, and Jio Jalalon, from last year’s team.
Mike Tolomia, Roger Pogoy, Von Pessumal, Russel Escoto, Raymar Jose, Ken Holmqvist, and Jonas Tibayan, have been tapped because of their familiarity with the system, said Racela.
“We are on our third week. I think we have a total of 12 practices for this tournament. That’s the reason why we have familiar players para hindi mahirap magturo,” said Racela.