BEAU Belga of Gilas Pilipinas is unmindful of the short rest members of the national team pool will have from now to July when they fly to Wuhan, China for the Fiba-Asia Cup as part of their preparation for both the world basketball championship and the Asian Games.
“Wala ka namang magagawa eh, that’s the duty na kailangan naming gampanan, whether maiksi ang preparation or mahaba. Basta kung ano nandiyan, pagtitiyagaan namin,” Belga told Spin.ph over the weekend.
Belga gave take after the PBA decided to further compress its schedule for the season, especially during the Governors Cup to pave the way for the early training of Gilas Pilipinas.
League commissioner Chito Salud said the compressed schedule could mean playing five game days a week in the hope of finishing the season-ending conference by July 9.
The Fiba-Asia Cup is set July 11-19, while the Fiba-World will be played from August 31 to September 14.
Belga, the 6-foot-6 Rain or Shine big man and member of the national training pool, said playing in a cramped PBA schedule is nothing new for Gilas, having done the same thing before when it flew to Lithuania and New Zealand last year to train and play a series of tune-up games two months prior to the world basketball championship qualifier.
“We’ve been through that (tough preparations) before. Short na preparation, pero kaya naman siguro mag-perform,” he added.
One of the few big man in the league who can shoot from the outside, Belga believes the eight-day sojourn to Wuhan, China has an upside for the team’s ambitious bid of winning two games in the tough world championships.
For one, the Fiba-Asia Cup could help Gilas members reconnect again after the team was disbanded shortly after last year’s Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.
“Hindi ka naman magkaka-problema sa jelling ng grupo kasi maganda naman ang samahan. Kailangan lang talaga namin ng international exposure, which really matters kapag maglalaro na sa Fiba-World,” explained the 27-year-old Belga.