FIBA Asia Cup: Business as usual for Gilas, despite cancelled Thailand game

Paul Lintag, ABS-CBN Sports

Posted at Feb 14 2020 09:14 PM

There's no new date yet for the Gilas-Thailand game, but Gilas coach Mark Dickel assured his team will be ready to go when that is announced. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

With the postponement of its opening game against Thailand at Araneta Coliseum on Thursday, Gilas Pilipinas saw its initial schedule for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers slightly altered.

FIBA, basketball's world governing body, has opted to move the Philippines-Thailand game set for Feb. 20 to another date due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Obviously disappointing because it would have been awesome to play a game here in front of our fans," Gilas interim head coach Mark Dickel said as his squad returned to practice on Friday.

"But we can't control that, so just get ready to go over to Indonesia and find a way to play a good game and win."

There's no new date yet for the Gilas-Thailand game, but Dickel assured that the national team will be ready to go when that is announced.

"If you get more time to really have everybody understand what their roles are, what is expected, and what they gotta do out there, the games are gonna look better," he said.

"I'm happy about it, we get two or three more days to prepare. Just gotta take advantage of those days."

Gilas players who were active for Friday's practice were: team captain Kiefer Ravena, Justin Chua, Poy Erram, Isaac Go, Javi and Juan Gomez de Liaño, Dave Ildefonso, Javee Mocon, Matt and Mike Nieto, CJ Perez, RR Pogoy, Thirdy Ravena, Dwight Ramos, Troy Rosario, Rey Suerte, Abu Tratter and Jaydee Tungcab.

Kobe Paras and Marc Pingris were also present in practice but sat out due to nagging injuries.

"Happy Valentine's day everybody. [Practice] was good, really good. An improvement from two days ago and an improvement from four days ago," Dickel said.

"It's going in the right direction."

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