FIBA: Gilas has eyes on younger players now ahead of 2023 World Cup
Paul Kennedy Lintag on Feb 07, 2020 06:50 PM
(Photo by Arvin Lim)
Gilas Pilipinas' 24-man lineup to start the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers is an intriguing mix of players.
PBA players make one part, drafted cadets make another, and a group of talented amateurs complete the cast.
"I like it," program director Tab Baldwin told ABS-CBN Sports on the national team's current dynamic.
"We have to have one eye to 2023. The players we took out of the Draft are obviously fully committed to that," he added.
In the 2019 PBA Draft, Gilas Pilipinas selected Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, and Mike and Matt Nieto. The five are loaned to the national team through 2023 by their respective mother teams.
But aside from those five, Gilas has since added players like Thirdy Ravena, Jaydee Tungcab, Kobe Paras, Dave Ildefonso, and Juan and Javi Gomez Gomez de Liaño to name a few to the pool.
They will be part of the pool for the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers although they haven't been offically drafted to the national team like Go, Suerte, Bulanadi, and the Nieto twins.
"We're also looking at later Drafts, looking at players like a Kobe [Paras], like a Dave Ildefonso, like a Juan Gomez de Liaño, these young players in the pool," Baldwin said.
"We're trying to serve two masters right now, with winning games in the windows but also knowing that the bigger picture is 2023 and hosting the World Cup," he added.
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