Photo credit: Fiba Asia Cup official website
By Kriel Ibarrola
Gilas Pilipinas is ready for its next challenge, as it prepares for the upcoming 2021 FIBA Asia Cup. Following their learning experience in Belgrade, coach Tab Baldwin and his young wards are heading to Jordan to compete in the King Abdullah Cup—which will be held from July 25 to August 3.
Aside from the host nation, the country’s national team will also take on promising teams Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia in the pocket tournament.
While Gilas is currently holed up in their bubble inside Calamba, Laguna, it’s no secret that Coach Baldwin always looks ahead for opportunities to make his team better. At the end of the day, actual games against other national teams will always be the best avenue to grow.
Bannering the team in Jordan would be Gilas’ holdovers Dwight Ramos, Ange Kouame, and Carl Tamayo, alongside Justine Baltazar, SJ Belangel, Geo Chiu, Isaac Go, Jordan Heading, William Navarro and Mike Nieto. Some familiar faces are also bound to return, with Dave Ildefonso, Jaydee Tungcab, Kemark Carino, and Tzaddy Rangel also vying for a spot in the 15-man line-up.
READ: Thirdy rejoins Gilas pool
We know what you’re thinking. Where the heck is Kai Sotto? Well, it’s tricky since the Adelaide 36ers will begin training camp for the NBL season around the time of the tourney. So, he might not be able to join the team.
Okey lang, Kai should be able to hone his skills more with Adelaide. Plus, Big Ange got us covered down low naman.
If Kai’s out, there’s also a new guy in. Yup, Thirdy Ravena is also back with Gilas and will be part of the pool. For sure, he’ll be raring to show the tricks he learned from playing abroad with San-En NeoPhoenix. His return will, of course, mark a reunion with his Ateneo coach.
What do you think about Gilas Pilipinas’ chances in the King Abdullah Cup? Do you think they have a shot of winning it all?
ALSO READ: Gilas faces quality teams in Jordan