MANILA, Philippines -- A little over a year since he was last part of the national team program, Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia is back in the sidelines for Gilas Pilipinas.
Garcia was invited to be part of the national team's coaching staff for the upcoming window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers, which will be held in a bubble in Clark, Pampanga next month.
He joins the staff headed by Jong Uichico and Gilas Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin, together with Boyet Fernandez, Alton Lister, Sandy Arespacochaga, and Meralco head coach Norman Black.
Garcia told PBA.ph that he was surprised to receive the invitation.
"Sa dami ng coaches, ako ang nabigyan ng opportunity, so I have to grab that," said Garcia.
The 45-year-old mentor was part of Yeng Guiao's coaching staff for the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, as well as the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.
Now, he relishes the opportunity to gain even more basketball knowledge while also helping the national team players, as they are already at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna for a training camp.
"I'm happy na sinama ako because I get to learn a new system under coach Tab," said Garcia.
"I'm there to help them also and at least give them my (coaching) thoughts," he also said.
Garcia also assured that he had the support of Rain or Shine management to join the Gilas program once again, as the franchise is fully backing the national team.
Gilas Pilipinas will train at the Calamba bubble for a month before playing in the final qualifying window in February, where they will take on South Korea twice and Indonesia once.
The Philippines currently hold a 3-0 record in Group A.