Gilas Pilipinas’ buildup for the 2023 FIBA World is taking shape real fast.
Head coach Chot Reyes said in a radio interview yesterday that the team will begin its European training camp on 7 June by playing the national teams of Finland and Estonia in a pocket tournament in Tallinn.
Originally, the camp was scheduled to kick off on 1 June but Reyes gave the players the chance to recharge following the hard but successful campaign in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh.
“It’s a very good tune-up for us,” said Reyes, who called the shots in Gilas’ 80-69 win over Cambodia in the gold medal match last 16 May.
“We announced a 1 June resumption but there are players who are tired and sick. So, we moved it back to 7 June to give them time to rest their bodies.”
“From there we are going to Lithuania, hopefully getting a stopover in Latvia,” he added.
A tune-up game between Gilas and Finland could be something Filipino hoops fans can look forward to as it will have Utah Jazz teammates Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen go at it against each other before the biggest basketball showcase begins.
Clarkson and Gilas will be in Group A with Angola, Italy and Dominican Republic and will play at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Meanwhile, Markkanen and Finland will play in Group F with co-host Japan, Finland and Germany at the Okinawa Arena.
Reyes said they will also have some exhibition games against China but said that everything isn’t concrete just yet.
“We have another tournament shaping up some time in August, against China in another invitation,” Reyes said.
“Nothing is final yet. We’ll make the announcements.”