GILAS Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin gathered players for a first practice ahead of the national team's campaign in the 2015 Fiba Asia championships on Wednesday with only a smattering of players present at the Meralco gym.
Baldwin presided over the light practice session that was not announced to the media and was therefore conducted in a relatively low-key and relaxed atmosphere.
Among the new faces seen in the practice were Barako Bull's JC Intal, Alaska's Sonny Thoss and Dondon Hontiveros, GlobalPort's Terrence Romeo, amateur standout Troy Rosario, and Asi Taulava, who is trying to make a comeback to the national pool at the age of 43.
Officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), however, made it clear there is still no official lineup on the members of the Gilas pool until the announcement to be made on Monday.
Wednesday night's practice, they said, was merely a session arranged by Baldwin for players who want to shake off the offseason rust.
Also there were the Talk 'N Text pair of Jayson Castro and Ranidel de Ocampo and Meralco's Gary David - holdovers from the Gilas team of Chot Reyes which finished runner-up in the 2013 Fiba Asia championship and consequently earned a ticket to last year's Fiba World Cup in Spain.
Another Talk 'N Text player, Matt Ganuelas Rosser, was also part of the group that practiced for two hours.
Aldrech Ramos and Romeo had a previous practice session with the Manila teams to the coming Fiba 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters and stayed around to join the 8-10 p.m. Gilas session.
Alaska head coach Alex Compton was also present, bolstering an earlier Spin.ph story that he has been tapped to be part of Baldwin's coaching staff in the tournament serving as qualifier for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
He joined Norman Black of Meralco, Talk 'N Text coach Jong Uichico and TnT assistant Nash Racela in running the drills.