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Aug 14, 2019

Gilas Pilipinas resumes training for FIBA World Cup

GILAS Pilipinas isn't about to waste time as it immediately buckles down to work upon returning from its 10-day training camp in Spain.

The national team resumed its training at the Meralco gym on Wednesday shortly upon arriving in the country late Tuesday night.

The last two weeks serves as the final phase of the national team's preparation for the coming FIBA World Cup in China.

Despite making do with only a nine-man active lineup in Spain, coach Yeng Guiao was more than satisfied with the way training camp went on in the cities of Guadalajara and Malaga that saw Gilas Pilipinas play two tune-up games against Congo and Ivory Coast and then play in a mini pocket tournament that featured world no. 2 Spain.

The Filipinos missed the chance of playing Spain after they failed to repeat against the Congolese, but that didn't take away what the main point of the training camp was all about.

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"The Spain camp was a confidence booster for us," said national coach Yeng Guiao about the trip that had the national team registering a 3-1 (win-loss) mark in the four games that it played.

"It is also an opportunity to strengthen bonds among players and staff. It's a learning experience where we can draw lessons as basis for technical and tactical adjustments," he added.

Guiao brought along an 11-man roster for the training camp, although one of them, Kiefer Ravena, is still ineligible to play pending the conclusion of his 18-month suspension by FIBA on August 24.

Unfortunately, the lineup was further decimated after veteran guard Gabe Norwood suffered a mild groin strain during the team's first game against Congo, an injury that kept the Rain or Shine stalwart out for the rest of the camp.

If there's one upside in the Gilas campsite, it was the stellar showing of national team newbies Robert Bolick and CJ Perez.

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The two rookies obviously left an impression with Guiao, who admitted Bolick and Perez gave themselves good enough consideration for inclusion in the national team's final 12-man lineup to the World Cup.

"I am very impressed with the two rookies, CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. That they can handle that type of competition. It's a different level, but they handled it," said the national coach.

Gilas will have two more tune-up games against the visiting Adelaide 36ers of the National Basketball League (NBL) of Australia after which Guiao finally makes the cut on who will be going to the world meet.

The national team leaves for China on August 29. (RG)