MANILA, Philippines -- More PBA players will enter the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna this Friday to join the national team's training camp.
Gilas Pilipinas team manager Gabby Cui confirmed in an appearance on "The Game" that he will enter the bubble on Friday along with TNT's Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario, as well as NLEX forward Raul Soyud.
"We had to do RT-PCR testing going to the bubble, so we're doing that tomorrow (Tuesday)," Cui said. "Then, on the 22nd, we enter Inspire where we do another round of RT-PCR (testing), based on the protocols."
Both Rosario and Pogoy are mainstays of the national team program, but this marks the first time that Soyud has been invited to the Gilas Pilipinas pool.
The NLEX forward averaged 10.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, while shooting 73.8% from the field including a respectable 36.4% from beyond the arc.
Several members of the Gilas Pilipinas pool are already inside the Calamba facility, where the national team is preparing for the third and final window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers.
The amateurs who represented the country in the November 2020 window in Bahrain -- Calvin Oftana, Justine Baltazar, Javi Gomez de LIano, William Navarro, Kenmark Carino, and Dave Ildefonso -- have been in the bubble since January 10.
They are joined by Ange Kouame, the country's candidate for naturalization, as well as PBA players Kiefer Ravena, CJ Perez, and Justin Chua. Last year's picks from the special Gilas draft -- Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Mike Nieto, and Matt Nieto -- are also training.
"It's twice a day of hard training, getting used to the system that's being implemented," Cui said of the team's schedule.
"The guys have been practicing twice a day, lifting weights in between, doing film sessions in the evening," he also said.
According to Cui, they are still waiting for Dwight Ramos and Juan Gomez de Liano, who both shone in the Bahrain bubble, to enter the facility.
They are also hopeful that more PBA players can join the training camp.
No PBA players were called up in November as the league was in the midst of the Philippine Cup, but as it is still the offseason, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas recalled the professionals to the national team's training pool.
"We're keeping our lines open for some PBA players that might be able to join us," said Cui.
The Philippines are currently on top of Group A in the qualifiers, after a win over Indonesia in February 2020 and a pair of victories over Thailand last November.
But their schedule in February's window, which will be held in a bubble in Clark, Pampanga, is considerably tougher as they play South Korea twice and Indonesia once.