The grind starts for the FIBA World Cup.
Gilas Pilipinas will officially start its grind for the FIBA World Cup in less than two weeks. Coach Chot Reyes revealed the initial plans to former PBA commissioner Nolia Eala on the program Power and Play.
According to the national team's chief tactician, they initially set the day 1 of training camp on June 1, but some players requested to extend the break.
"There are certain players who are still tired, nursing slight injuries, mga may sakit so we moved it to June 7 to give players time to rest and prepare their bodies," Reyes said.
From June 7, Gilas Pilipinas will build-up to their overseas trainings in the Baltic region from June to July.
"A pocket tournament in Estonia to play the Estonia national team, and then Finland. Very good tune-up for us," Coach Chot revealed.
"From there we are going to Lithuania, hopefully getting a stopover in Latvia."
Unfortunately, Gilas Pilipinas won't be able to play the Lithunanian national team which will probably feature Sacramento Kings star center Domantas Sabonis.
"We are trying to get a game against their (Lithuania) U21 team, that’s a very strong team and some of their top ranked teams as well."
After touring Europe, Gilas Pilipinas will head back to the Philippines before a final overseas training in August.
"We have another tournament shaping up some time in August, China naman another invitation.
Coach Chot clarified that this calendar might be fluid.
"Hindi pa final ‘yung mga ‘yun. We’ll make the announcements."
No Gilas Pilipinas pool has been announced yet although national team manager Butch Antonio said expect "the usual suspects." Expectations are sky high for the national team considering that the Philippines is one of the co-hosts of the FIBA World Cup.
Gilas will face familiar foes in Group A against Angola, Dominican Republic, and Italy.