Gilas-Pilipinas will train in Miami; incoming naturalized player Andray Blatche is set to join them while Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra is expected to drop by



The Gilas-Pilipinas showed a great cohesive team in a rousing victory over the PBA All-Star, courtesy of a 101-93 win over the latter at the close of the PBA All-Star week on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.


But the Philippine National Team is still not contented on their performance and is raring for more, especially with the pending approval of the soon-to-be naturalized player in Andray Blatche, a back-up center-forward for the Jason Kidd-mentored Brooklyn Nets.

Training in Miami

With their preparation for the upcoming FIBA World Cup in Spain and the Asian Games in Korea, the Philippine national men’s basketball team will train in Miami.

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes told InterAksyon.com that the team is expected to be joined stateside by NBA player Andray Blatche, who lives in Miami during the offseason.



Blatche has already signed a contract committing to play for the Philippines. Measures have already been filed in the legislature to confer Filipino citizenship of the Brooklyn Nets big man to make him eligible to suit up for Gilas.

The Philippine team will fly to Miami on July 24 after competing in the FIBA Asia Cup, which runs from July 11 to 19.

The Gilas brain trust set up the training camp with the help of the Miami Heat organization. 

Reyes said he is hoping Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, a Filipino-American who has visited Gilas practice in the past, will drop by the camp to give notes for the squad.



The team will stay in Miami until August 3, before flying to Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain to continue their preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Gilas will be in the Spanish city until August 13, when the team will go to Antibes in France to participate in a pocket tournament.

Reyes expects the team to play three games in Antibes before going back to Vitoria-Gasteiz, where Gilas will stay until August 27 before heading to Sevilla for the start of the FIBA World Cup.

FIBA World Cup Campaign

The Filipinos dream of making it back to the world stage has finally come true but expect a daunting task ahead for the national team.

Gilas-Pilipinas will open its campaign on August 30 against Croatia before taking on Greece on August 31 and Argentina on September 1. After a one-day break, Gilas returns to action on September 3 against Puerto Rico and September 4 against Senegal.

With Gilas also representing the Philippines in the Asian Games basketball tournament in September, the national players will be away from their families for three months while playing for the flag.

“Tinitingnan pa lang nila ang sked, napapagod na sila,” Reyes said.

“Pero ganun talaga. Everyone has to do his share for the national team, so yun talaga ang sakripisyo.”

Expect the Gilas-Pilipinas to play their hearts out once again even if they will be exhausted because of the hectic schedules as what they have showed in last year's FIBA Asia Championships.

They are also counting from the full support of the Filipinos who are living in Spain and Korea and other neighboring countries.

--- with reports from Sports5.ph

Gilas-Pilipinas will train in Miami; incoming naturalized player Andray Blatche is set to join them while Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra is expected to drop by Gilas-Pilipinas will train in Miami; incoming naturalized player Andray Blatche is set to join them while Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra is expected to drop by Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 4/07/2014 Rating: 5

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