Gilas plans daily grind upon arrival of B.League stars

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

October 26, 2022, 7:12 pm

MANILA – Gilas Pilipinas plans to hold daily training once its mainstays based in Japan arrive.

Hokkaido's Dwight Ramos, Shiga's Kiefer Ravena, younger brother Thirdy of San-En, and Nagoya's Ray-Ray Parks are expected to be released for national team duties by Oct. 28, which could mean they might arrive this weekend at the soonest.

Coach Chot Reyes, however, said the daily grind could be a short one and will still depend on whether the B.League stars will arrive in time.

“We don’t know the arrival yet of our B.League players,” said Reyes following Gilas' weekly practice on Monday night at the Meralco Gym in Pasig. “We’re planning, hopefully, three days -- Oct. 31, Nov. 1, and 2, but we’re not sure.”

The period falls within the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) scheduled Halloween break, in which the league will take Nov. 2 off after its Oct. 30 doubleheader at the Ynares Center in Antipolo and will return on Nov. 4 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

Also awaiting confirmation about joining are Ateneo's Ange Kouame and Adelaide's Kai Sotto, which will give Gilas a boost inside for the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup despite the unavailability of the injured June Mar Fajardo.

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines will have a break from Nov. 6-16, clearing Kouame, University of the Philippines' Carl Tamayo, and La Salle's Kevin Quiambao to join Gilas.

Quiambao is one of 10 players present during Gilas' practice on Monday, the only amateur who participated in the training.

Joining him are pros Chris Newsome, Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, Jamie Malonzo, RR Pogoy, Calvin Oftana, Poy Erram, Arvin Tolentino and LeBron Lopez. (PNA)