GILAS Pilipinas 5.0 goes on a three-day, out-of-town bonding as the grind begins for coach Chot Reyes and his 24-man training pool gearing up for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship this summer.
Team manager Butch Antonio said details are still being finalized for the March 14-16 training camp, which marks the first get together between the 12 Gilas cadets and 12 pro veterans after the pool was officially completed by Reyes and his coaching staff last January.
Antonio refused to disclose yet where the camp will be held pending final negotiations with the province involved.
“Details to follow once it is finalized,” said Antonio. “I don’t want to pre-empt kasi because we’re still in talks with the host province.”
But he stressed the out-of-town sortie will only be held in a single place.
“This is not a road show, so sa isang lugar lang tayo,” Antonio said.
Antonio, who is also executive director for external affairs of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), said there’s no conflict whatsoever as far as the practice schedules of the dozen veteran pros who are going to join the camp.
The camp will conclude a day before the opening of the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
“Ipinaalam na natin yan,” said the long-time Gilas team manager. “Lahat ngayon coordinated because we (SBP) have a very good working relationship with the PBA.”
Antonio said the three-day camp aims to foster camaraderie among members of the training pool, especially amongthe rookie cadets.
“Ang daming bago rin so they have to be oriented by coach Chot on what ‘puso’ is all about,” he added.
Under the agreement between the SBP and pro league, the 12 Gilas cadet players will be pulled out of their respective teams at least two months before the national team sees action in a particular cage meet. The veterans on the other hand, are to be called at least 15 days before the tournament proper.
The SEABA is slated on May 16 to 21 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the first major competition where the latest batch of Gilas team will be seeing action. The meet serves as qualifier for the FIBA Asia Cup set in Beirut, Lebanon this August.