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Gilas gets 7-day camp as new lineup assembles Feb. 15




February 9 ------ The Gilas Pilipinas buildup for the first window of the 2025 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers formally begins on Feb. 15, giving the new 12-man lineup a full seven-day preparation time before the squad's games against Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei. The 12 players, who Gilas head coach Tim Cone personally handpicked, will convene for the first time, which will also mark the start of the Nationals' preparation for the four-year FIBA cycle according to the new program laid out by the veteran mentor. 

  

Gilas is playing Hong Kong on the road on Feb. 22 and Chinese Taipei on Feb. 25 at home at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City. Justin Brownlee, who was recently cleared by FIBA to join the first qualifying window, is expected to return to the country in the next few weeks to be with the team. Along with Brownlee, also anticipated to arrive are the Gilas players Kai Sotto, AJ Edu, and Dwight Ramos from Japan B.League. The Japanese league is also taking a mandatory FIBA break starting Feb. 11 which allows the release of Filipino players to the national team. 

  

Edu is still recovering from a knee injury but is expected to be with the team during the two games. Carl Tamayo, on the other hand, has been in the country since getting his release from the Ryukyu Golden Kings in the B.League while UAAP star Kevin Quiambao is also ready to join the Gilas practice following his stint with the Strong Group Athletics in the Dubai International Tournament. PBA players Jamie Malonzo, Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome, and Calvin Oftana are also expected to show up while June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez’s participation in the first few days of training highly depend on how far San Miguel's Finals series with Magnolia goes. 

  

Should it go the distance, the two are likely unavailable for the first practice as the Game 7 of Commissioner's Cup Finals is slated Feb. 16. Despite the only short preparation time, Cone already explained that it was what Gilas exactly needs as he hopes to build the foundation of the team over the course of multiple windows. Yet to be named however are Cone’s coaching staff. So far only team manager Richard Del Rosario, who will be wearing two hats as he also plays as an assistant during the games, was confirmed to be with the multi-titled coach on the sidelines. 

  

Cone’s deputies during the Asian Games in Jong Uichico and Josh Reyes are among the strong candidates to join Gilas think tanks on the bench. 

  

Source: mb.com.ph 

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