THE Philippines' ambitious quest for Olympic glory resumed Monday night as Gilas Pilipinas finally returned to practice at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center inside the Ateneo campus.
Thirteen players and the entire coaching staff showed up for the national team's first training session of the year - exactly two months since its last one under national coach Tab Baldwin.
Marc Pingris, Gabe Norwood, Terrence Romeo, Japeth Aguilar, Matt Rosser, Jeff Chan, LA Tenorio, and Troy Rosario were present along with reserve Mo Tautuaa and amateur standouts Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Ferrer.
San Miguel Beer stars June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter were also in attendance, but didn't join the drills.
Not around were Greg Slaughter, Ranidel de Ocampo, Paul Lee, Calvin Abueva, Jayson Castro, Ryan Reyes, and Ian Sanggalang.
Baldwin, who just came from a US trip to scout some Fil-Am players for Ateneo, conducted offensive drills in the two-hour practice.
Gilas Pilipinas had its last practice session on December 14 before going on a break to give way to the playoffs of the PBA Philippine Cup.
"I wanted them to get some rest," Baldwin said after practice. "Some of the guys have got more rest than others, but because it’s an all-Filipino conference, they all played a lot of minutes."
The training was the first for the team since the country won the bid to host one of the three Olympic Qualifying tournaments to be held simultaneously from July 5-10.
Serbia and Italy hosts the other qualifiers.
Grouped with Gilas in the Manila leg are France and New Zealand, along with Canada, Senegal, and Turkey.