Lull before storm: Gilas enters quarantine ahead of Asian Cup

Kai Sotto (left) overtakes Boban Marjanovic in Gilas’ narrow loss to Serbia. —PHOTO COURTESY OF FIBA.COM

Gilas Pilipinas officially entered government-ordered quarantine on Sunday after a winless but lesson-rich campaign during Fiba’s Olympic qualifiers in Belgrade, Serbia.

The next step for head coach Tab Baldwin and young National Five is the Asian Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia, to be held next August.

Ryan Gregorio, of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, said there is no set timetable as to when Gilas’s management will start preparing for the continental games, where the Philippines are aiming for another deep race.

“There have been no discussions yet,” Gregorio, who is special assistant to federation president Al Panlilio, told the Inquirer. “[Coach Tab] deserves to rest, ”he added frankly.

Baldwin and his wards are currently staying at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City, with each member expecting varying release dates due to their respective immunization status.

The mentor, who is also the mastermind of the national cage program, said in a previous interview that he hoped to get the young crew back to work between July 20 and July 25, hoping to learn from the lessons of the near upheaval. of World Number 5 Serbia, and the ensuing beating at the hands of the Dominican Republic. “We don’t have the exact dates and we don’t know exactly what the protocol measures will be… But it looks like it will be back in the Calamba bubble for us at this point,” he said.

It is not yet known whether Baldwin will make a recall as Gilas’s mentor, and whether the team will call on the stars of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) for the Asian Cup.

Baldwin, however, is hoping that he can count on Thirdy Ravena and the other cadets who make up the Filipino 2023 World Cup talent pool that the Philippines will co-host with Japan and Indonesia.

Gilas lost to South Korea in the quarter-finals of the last Asian Cup held in Lebanon in 2017. Baldwin was the coach of the last Philippine team to reach the final round. This team – full of PBA stars – lost to host China of 2015 in a controversial match. INQ

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