Aug 10, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Visa woes threaten Gilas' overseas training (Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines Gilas Pilipinas’ out-of-the-country training camp is hanging in the balance with majority of the players from the national pool still without visa.
Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas deputy director for international affairs Butch Antonio said they have been working round the clock to try to secure visas for the Gilas pool and make the most of their compact schedule.
Originally, Gilas is scheduled to leave by Thursday for Turkey, since national coach Tab Baldwin wanted the national pool to be placed in an ‘isolation camp’ in order to focus on the preparation for the FIBA Asia men’s championships scheduled on Sept.23 in Changsa, Hunan, China.
“Everything is not firm as of the moment since halos lahat wala pang visa,” Antonio confided to gPhilstar.com on Monday.
“Sa Turkey, coach Tab wanted to have a training camp there with the team, parang isolated camp gaya nung time ni (former Gilas coach) Chot Reyes.”
The worse-case scenario is for Gilas to fly to Estonia next week. Estonia is part of the national pool’s second itinerary in Europe to play in a pocket tournament.
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Gilas will be facing tougher competition in the brief tournament in Estonia, which will feature the host country, Iceland and the Netherlands.
“Iyung sa Estonia, that’s a tournament scheduled from Aug 20-22. That’s what we’re trying to target right now,” he added.
The Filipinos will fly back to Manila on Aug. 23 and will have at least a few days to prepare, before flying to Taiwan for the annual William Jones Cup.
Gilas ruled the Jones Cup’s 2012 edition after beating a tough US team, with LA Tenorio being named the tournament MVP.
After the Jones Cup, scheduled from Aug. 29 to Sept. 3, Gilas will join the SBP-organized four-nation, three-day tournament called MVP Cup from Sept. 11-13 where the Filipinos will take on New Zealand, Jordan and the Taiwanese.