TEAM Pilipinas on Monday started its preparations for the sixth and final window of the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Eleven players from the 14-man Gilas pool were the early birds in the first day of practice held on Monday afternoon at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Magnolia guard Mark Barroca marked his return to the national team since being part of the original Gilas Pilipinas team coached by Rajko Toroman.
He was joined by Troy Rosario, who showed up despite nursing a broken nose. He joined the shooting drills by wearing a protective mask.
Also present were June Mar Fajardo, RR Pogoy, Gabe Norwood, Jayson Castro, Poy Erram, Marcio Lassiter, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson and Raymond Almazan.
Erram and Almazan, however, were in street clothes.
Not present were reserve naturalized player Christian Standhardinger and Paul Lee.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche, meanwhile, is expected to join the team early next month as Team Pilipinas gears up a pair of must-win games.
The national players spent time in a shootaround before retreating to a huddle led by coach Yeng Guiao.