However, veteran playmaker LA Tenorio noted that even more important for the team at this point is the camaraderie the players have forged during their first 10 days of training camp in Miami, Florida.
Tenorio, the 2012 William Jones Cup MVP, said since regrouping as a national pool last month, Gilas coach Chot Reyes has been creating informal activities to develop the team’s chemistry and bonding in South Beach.
“Aside from learning on the court, malaking bagay din yung nagsama-sama kami as a team, kasi importante yun pagdating ng (Fiba) World Cup,” Tenorio told Spin.ph on Tuesday.
“Importanteng magkasama-sama kami at magkakilala at magkaamuyan ulit especially, may mga bagong players,” he added, referring to new pool additions Paul Lee of Rain or Shine, Meralco’s Jared Dillinger and GlobalPort’s Jay Washington.
Gilas’ week-long bonding in Miami was put to test last weekend, though the nationals proved they are a hard nut to crack with new naturalized center Andray Blatche in tow as they dismantled the Miami Pro-Am squad, 95-74, before beating Elev8, 93-84.
As Gilas prepares to leave Miami on Tuesday afternoon (Wednesday, Manila time) and fly to Vittoria, Spain, Tenorio said he expects the training to get tougher embark on a stretch of nine tuneup games spread over 20 days leading up to the Fiba World Cup in Spain.
As always, speed will be Gilas’ biggest weapon according to the ace Barangay Ginebra playmaker.
“Yun naman ang magiging strength ng team namin eh, speed talaga so kailangan everytime, push talaga,” added the 30-year-old former Ateneo star.
Gilas will kick off a series of tune-up matches against top European and African squad, beginning with a game against the Angola national team on Friday in Vittoria, Spain.