THE hard part has just begun for Gilas Pilipinas.
After spending nearly one whole day on a plane and followed by a three-hour bus ride to the resort town of Palanga in Lithuania, national coach Chot Reyes and his players buckle down to work ahead of their quest for history in the Fiba-Asia men’s championships.
“30 practices in 15 days away from our families. It will not be easy. But this is what we signed up for. For history,” Reyes said on his Twitter account @coachot after arriving in Palanga, Lithuania on Monday night.
Before leaving Manila with the rest of the team on Sunday evening, Reyes bared that Gilas is set to square off with the Lithuania under-20 national squad twice before going up against four strong Lithuanian club teams during their two-week camp in the Baltic state.
In the days when they have no tune-up matches, the 13 players from the Gilas pool who made the trip will be toughening up with twice-a-day practices, Reyes added.
Gilas begins its first practice on Tuesday from 10am to 12 noon at the Svyturio Arena, before returning to the gym for a 7-8 p.m. practice in.
The national training squad goes up against Klaipedos Neptunas on Thursday at 7 p.m. for its first tune-up game, before taking on Birstono Jazz Diremta the following night.