Gilas Pilipinas wraps up productive training camp ahead of SEA Games redemption bid – rezal404
MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas leaves for the Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, late Saturday evening, an optimistic bunch following a productive camp in Calamba, Laguna.
“We were able to get a lot of things done,” national coach Chot Reyes told a handful of reporters around noon, shortly after the team’s final practice on home soil.
“Not only in terms of what we wanted to do offensively, in terms of basketball skills, but we also got a lot to do of team work. Our teaming skills. I think that’s just as important as our basketball skills. That was our primary goal coming together in camp,” he went on.
Gilas Pilipinas holed up at Inspire Sports Academy and spent a total of five days there conducting twice-a-day practices, film viewing sessions, and team building.
“We were together for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We lifted weights together and coach Chot (Reyes) had some great team activities. In that short amount of time, we built so much chemistry. We got deep in some days and we laughed a lot and that camp was very big for us,” said Chris Ross, a member of the gold-winning 2019 squad who is set to skipper this edition of the National Five.
“I was questioning going into it, thinking why can’t we just practice here (in Manila)? But while we got in there, we got our work in and found out why coach Chot wanted to do it. And it worked wonders for us,” he added.
Joining Ross in the last session at Meralco Gym in Pasig City are Justin Brownlee, CJ Perez, Calvin Oftana, Chris Newsome, Mason Amos, Aaron Black, Marcio Lassiter, Arvin Tolentino, Christian Standhardinger, Jerom Lastimosa, along with brothers Michael and Ben Phillips .
Jeremiah Gray was absent and has been ruled questionable due to a knee problem.
The Philippines, knocked off its lofty perch it sat for 33 long years, will try to reclaim the gold medal in the showcase at Elephant Hall 2 of Morodok Techo National Stadium in the Cambodian capital.
Gilas is bracketed with Malaysia, the hosts and Singapore in Group B play. A top-two finish will send the Filipinos into the cross-over knockout phase where he could likely meet old tormentor and reigning champion Indonesia or another rising power in Thailand.
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