The Gilas Pilipinas Men’s team departed for Madrid, Spain early Sunday morning for a 10-day training camp as preparation for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup which is slated on August 31 to September 15 in China.
Only 11 players out of the 19 earlier named by head coach Yeng Guiao and submitted to FIBA were able to join the trip.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche led the small continent together with Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, Poy Erram, Japeth Aguilar, CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, Kiefer Ravena, Mark Barroca, Paul Lee and Matthew Wright.
Raymond Almazan was supposed to be the 12th player but failed to make it as he wasn’t able to secure a Spanish visa, same with assistant coach Ford Arao.
Those who couldn’t make it as their teams will be playing in the Finals of the Commissioner’s Cup are June Mar Fajardo, Christian Standhardinger and Marcio Lassiter (injured) of San Miguel and Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy of TNT.
Stanley Pringle also failed to join the trip as he is currently nursing an ankle sprain while Jordan Clarkson is still awaiting FIBA’s decision regarding SBP’s appeal for him to be considered as a local.
“This is the best we can do sa limitations ng schedule ng PBA. We’ll just try to get all the work done to put this team together in the eighth days that were in Spain,” said Guiao.
“This is an important stage for our preparation, This is the time where we can really focus 100 percent on what we need to do on the system that we’re trying to set up,” he added.
The national team will play tune-up matches with Congo and Ivory Coast in the city of Guadalajara before heading to Malaga for a 4-team pocket tournament.