The Gilas Pilipinas national pool will hold a three-day camp outside Metro Manila to start the country’s preparation for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship set on May 12 to 18.
PH 5 team manager Butch Antonio said the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) already got the permission from the Philippine Basketball Association to release the 24 players for the March 14 to 16 camp.
“We already asked permission from PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa to allow the members of the pool to join the three-day bonding,” Antonio told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Wednesday.
“The three-day bonding will be just held outside near Metro Manila, but we’re still finalizing the venue,” added Antonio, hoping that the likes of three-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s Japeth Aguilar will be in attendance.
“We’re just starting to invite them and we’re expecting them to come.”
National team coach Chot Reyes was the first to announce the camp through his Twitter account last Tuesday.
Besides Fajardo and Aguilar, other members of the pool are are Jayson Castro, Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario of TNT KaTropa, Calvin Abueva and Carl Bryan Cruz of Alaska, Raymond Almazan and Mike Tolomia of Rain or Shine, Mac Belo and Arthur dela Cruz of Blackwater, Paul Lee and Jio Jalalon of Star Hotshots, Terrence Romeo and Von Pessumal of GlobalPort, Norbert Torres and Matthew Wright of Phoenix, Jonathan Grey and Ed Daquioag of Meralco, LA Revilla and Russel Escoto of Mahindra, Bradwyn Guinto and Alfonso Gotladera of Northern Luzon Expressway, Kevin Ferrer of Ginebra and Arnold Van Opstal of San Miguel Beer.
Escoto, on the other hand, is still nursing a knee injury he sustained during the last day of the elimination round of the Philippine Cup.
SEABA, that will be held this August in Beirut, Lebanon, serves as a qualifying meet for the International Basketball Federation Asia Cup, formerly the Asian Championship. Only the champion team in SEABA will qualify for the Asia Cup.