Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



WILLIAM WEST/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE June Mar Fajardo (right) and Japeth Aguilar will be reunited when Gilas Pilipinas kicks off its training camp in preparation for the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers. Aguilar will be making another tour of national duty after being selected to replace the injured AJ Edu.

Gilas Pilipinas takes the first step towards the FIBA Asia Cup and the Paris Olympics when it opens its training camp today at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna.

Newly-installed Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Erika Dy told Daily Tribune that the first few training sessions will be held behind closed doors with multi-titled coach Tim Cone presiding over the workouts as full-time head coach.

The mission will not be easy.

The Filipinos will get their baptism of fire in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers. They will face Hong Kong on 22 February at the Tsuen Wan Stadium in Hong Kong before facing Chinese Taipei on 25 February at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

They will also prepare for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament that will be held in Riga, Latvia from 2 to 7 July.

Dy said Cone opted to kick off their training behind closed doors. He, however, will again open their training to the public on Monday to give fans a chance to wish the players best of luck as they embark on yet another crucial mission.

“They will start (training camp) at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Inspire Sports Academy. This will be held behind closed doors, but we will have a press conference and open practice on the 19th,” wrote Dy in a text message.

Shortly after getting appointed as full-time head coach, Cone hit the ground running by naming his full roster.

Leading the squad is naturalized player Justin Brownlee together with Philippine Basketball Association stars June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, Jamie Malonzo, Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome and Calvin Oftana.

Japan-based standouts in Dwight Ramos, Kai Sotto, Carl Tamayo and AJ Edu as well as University Athletic Association of the Philippines Most Valuable Player Kevin Quiambao of De La Salle University were also included in the squad that aims to lead the country back to the Summer Games for the first time since 1972 in Munich.

Cone, however, admitted that time is not on their side.

“We have limited time for prepare so every moment is precious. We want to jump right into practice when everyone arrives,” Cone, the mentor who guided the Filipinos to a historic gold medal in the previous 19th Asian Games, said.

“Hopefully, there will be a lot of teaching and learning as we prepare for this first window. We will keep the big picture in mind knowing that this is a long-term project and commitment.”

Cone added that they will be training with a depleted lineup since Perez and Fajardo are still not available while Edu remains injured.

Perez and Fajardo are still in the thick of their campaign for San Miguel Beer in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven finals series against Magnolia while Edu is still nursing a torn meniscus.

Game 6 of the Commissioner’s Cup finals is being played at press time and should the Beermen prevail, there’s a chance that Fajardo and Perez will be available. If not, the earliest that they can join training will be this Saturday as Game 7 is set on Friday.

“We will know tomorrow,” Cone said.

“June Mar and CJ are still involved in the finals so let’s see.”

Dy added that almost everybody is already on board.

“They (Japan boys) are already here. Exciting times,” Dy said, adding that Edu will not participate in contact drills but will still be part of their training bubble.

“Yes, he is still injured but he will still be around.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like


SOCIAL MEDIAManny Pacquiao knows his time is up. This was the keen observation made by a longtime member of his training team who spent...


SOCIAL MEDIAThe dynamic duo of Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna and Danerie James “Wise” del Rosario is back with a bang after leading Blacklist International to...


SOCIAL MEDIAThe University Athletic Association of the Philippines will have a full calendar of sports events for Season 85 starting 1 October. UAAP President...


SOCIAL MEDIAECHO has revealed its roster for the upcoming M4 Mobile Legends World Championship to be held 1-15 January 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The...


SOCIAL MEDIAIt’s going to be business as usual as the Philippine Basketball Association will not stop its on-court activities when it gives way for...


SOCIAL MEDIAIt doesn’t look as if newly-crowned Melvin Jerusalem will get the luxury of defending his minimumweight crown against a handpicked rival after the...


Mitchell, meanwhile, is a six-foot shooting guard frowm Hartford University.


SOCIAL MEDIALegendary boxing referee Carlos ‘Sonny’ Padilla was recently inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Famous for serving as the third man...