FIBA World Cup: Gilas nearly in full force as third window of qualifiers approaches

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2018 09:16 PM

Andray Blatche takes part in Gilas Pilipinas practice. Photo courtesy of Joaqui Flores, Tiebreaker Times

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas was nearly at full strength on Monday when they practiced at the Meralco Gym ahead of the third window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.

Thirteen players from the Elite team were in attendance, led by naturalized Filipino center Andray Blatche.

Also showing up were Calvin Abueva, Allein Maliksi, Troy Rosario, Gabe Norwood, Matthew Wright, June Mar Fajardo, Carl Bryan Cruz, Roger Pogoy, Terrence Romeo, Baser Amer, Jiovani Jalalon, and Jayson Castro.

Helping the senior team in their preparations were several members of the Gilas Cadets team, led by Ricci Rivero, Abu Tratter and Kobe Paras – the three youngsters who were recently named to the Philippine squad that will compete in the Asian Games in August.

Prince Rivero, Vince Tolentino, J-Jay Alejandro, and Troy Rike were also present at the Meralco Gym.

The national team will leave for Taiwan on Sunday. They will play Chinese-Taipei on June 29, where they will look for a repeat of their 90-83 triumph from the first window all the way back in November 2017.

Gilas Pilipinas then flies home to gear up for a massive showdown against unbeaten Group B leader Australia, whom they will play on July 2 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. 

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