Former University of the Visayas star Rey Anthony Suerte heads the list of names on the Gilas Pilipinas pool that will do battle in the November window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
The two-time Most Valuable Player award winner of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) will be joined by fellow special Gilas draftees Isaac Go, Allyn Bulanadi and the Nieto brothers, Mike and Matt.
The rest of the roster is primarily composed of collegiate standouts led by Ateneo sentinels Ange Kouame, Dwight Ramos, Dave Ildefonso and Will Navarro and University of the Philippines stars Kobe Paras, Jaydee Tungcab and the de Liano siblings, Javi and Juan. Also named to the team were San Beda aces Calvin Oftana and Kenmark Cariño. Rounding off the team is La Salle’s Justine Baltazar.
The Gilas Pilipinas will be conducting a short training camp at the INSPIRE Academy in Calamba, Laguna, before flying to Bahrain on November 19. The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas announced on Friday that they were able to secure clearance from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for Emerging Infectious Diseases to conduct training sessions.
"After careful deliberation and taking into consideration the safety and health protocols of both countries involved, as well as the lifting by the Department of Foreign Affairs of the travel ban to Bahrain, we are pleased to inform you that the NTF has reconsidered its earlier position and hereby allows the participation of the SBP to the Qualifiers for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup," read the letter of approval.
The Gilas currently holds a 1-0 (win-loss) card in Group A of the FIBA qualifiers. They are set to play Thailand on November 26 before battling Korea on November 28. They will play Thailand one more time on November 30 to complete their assignments in the “bubble” tournament in Manama. (JNP)