FIBA: Gilas hitting two goals in one go with Asia Cup, 2023 prep

Paul Kennedy Lintag on Feb 23, 2020 07:10 AM
Gilas hitting two goals in one go with Asia Cup, 2023 prep
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

The task at hand is the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers but Gilas Pilipinas knows its main endgame with the current program its running.

Regardless of what games they're currently playing under whatever circumstances, the national team will always have eyes for 2023 and the FIBA World Cup the Philippines is set to co-host.

"This is part of the bigger program, the windows are," program director Tab Baldwin told ABS-CBN Sports as Gilas Pilipinas is set to open the Asia Cup qualifiers with a road game against Indonesia Sunday.

"Our goal is to obviously win games, and build a strong team as we can. But the project of 2023, it just continues rolling after the windows are over," he added.

Gilas' 12-man lineup for Indonesia is indicative of the Philippines' ongoing program for 2023.

The average age for the current Gilas team is only 25 years old, with no player over 30. Out of the 12 active players, five are non-PBA players.

In the initial 24-man pool for Gilas Pilipinas to start the Asia Cup qualifiers, 13 were amateur players.

"We have to have one eye to 2023," 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, sending 12 players in 2023 that are gonna have a real chance of competing in the later stages of the tournament. That's the real goal," he added.

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