THE SMART-Gilas Pilipi-nas squad will be very busy going to its first major assignment—the Asian Games in November.
After placing third at the recently concluded 21st Dubai International Basketball tournament, the Nationals are expected to play at least 80 international games against some of the world’s best ball clubs.
In March, Gilas will be in Australia to play against several professional teams in the National Basketball League (NBL) to be followed by a trip to Serbia and Belgrade for tune-up tournaments.
In April to May, the RP squad will be training in Las Vegas, USA before travelling to Canada to play against its national Men’s team.
In May, Gilas will play at the Fiba-Asia Champions Cup.
By July, the RP squad will host teams from Iran, New Zealand, Japan and Korea before they play at the Jones Cup in Chinese-Taipei in middle of July.
The team’s schedule in August will be the Fiba-Asia Stankovic Cup in Beirut, Lebanon then back to the USA for a series of games with the NCAA teams, to wind up their preparation for the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China in November.
Meanwhile, Gilas has given Jamal Sampson the pink slip after his dismal performance during the Dubai tilt.
Coach Rajko Toroman is now hoping to find replacement. But in the meantime he will have to lean on Greg Slaughter, Jason Ballesteros, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Japeth Aguilar to man the pivot.