While the status of the FIBA Asia Cup hangs in the air because of the rise of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia, the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team will continue to prepare as they compete in the King Abdullah Cup in Jordan next week.
The team will be flying to the Middle East on Friday and will begin their campaign with a match against Egypt on July 26. Matches versus Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and two national teams of Jordan will follow.
Head coach Tab Baldwin, though, is faced with the tough choice of selecting the 15 players to bring to the tournament. The Gilas pool currently has 19 players and is composed of players that represented the country in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade as well as returnees Matt Nieto, Allyn Bulanadi and former two-time Cesafi MVP Rey Anthony Suerte. Also in the pool is Thirdy Ravena, who is coming off a stint witht eh San-En NeoPhoenix in Japan’s professional league.
It remains to be seen if 7-foot-3 center Kai Sotto will be able to join the squad with his responsibilities to the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League (NBL). (JNP)