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Kobe joins Ricci, rest of '23for23 pool for Gilas practice

Kobe Paras is not wasting any time. Arriving in the country at six in the morning, Kobe joined Gilas Pilipinas in practice at 8:00 p.m. Monday at the Meralco Gym. Paras, part of the #23for23 team, will join the national team as they prepare for the 2018 Filoil Flying V preseason joust. Joining Kobe in practice are Ricci Rivero, CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Vince Tolentino, Javee Mocon, Jeo Ambohot, Arvin Tolentino, Prince Rivero, Juan Gomez de Liano, Will Gozum, and Kenneth Tuffin. J-jay Alejandro didn't participate as he deals with an injury. Gilas Pilipinas, with Kobe anc co., will debut in the Filoil tournament on Saturday against Ateneo De Manila, the reigning UAAP Champions.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnApr 16th, 2018

Serious cadets wanting Filoil title is 'a good sign'

Just because they joined the Filoil tournament, it doesn't mean that Gilas Pilipinas is necessarily gunning for the title. With most of the #23for23 pool members seeing action, the preseason joust is just part of the master plan that's already in motion. However, several members of the team, mainly Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras, have expressed their desire to actually go after the championship and that's fine too. It's great, actually. "It's not the goal [winning title] but it's a good barometer for them," coach Jong Uichico said regarding Gilas' Filoil aspirations. "To think of winning the championship, that means they're taking the tournament seriously. That's a good sign," he added. The national team will open the preseason joust Saturday against reigning UAAP Champion Ateneo de Manila University. And so far, practice has been going relatively well for the cadet squad. "Okay naman, sa few practices that we've had, they showed naman the improvement," Uichico said. "Nilalagay namin ng unti-unti pero syempre we don't have that much time naman so pina fast-track lang namin lahat," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 18th, 2018

Looks like Ricci Rivero is cleared to join Gilas Pilipinas

Looks like Ricci Rivero is finally cleared to join Gilas Pilipinas. The high-flying La Salle star was present in practice again Monday, however, he was in street clothes anew and was merely an observer. Good news though, it appears that it's only a matter of time before he officially joins the Gilas pool. It's just that La Salle has to make the final announcement. "He came to tell us that he’s been allowed. But we haven’t gotten any official word yet from La Salle, we’re just waiting," head coach Chot Reyes said regarding Rivero. "That's why he came here," he added. Rivero was not included in the initial #23for23 pool released by Reyes for the national team. La Salle apparently asked Gilas to exclude its current players during that time as the Green Archers were in transition following head coach Aldin Ayo's move to UST.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 29th, 2018

Ricci reduced to being an observer for first Gilas practice of 2018

Despite not being part of the preliminary Gilas Pilipinas pool for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, La Salle star Ricci Rivero still attended the first practice of 2018 of the national team Monday at the Meralco Gym. Rivero, who was excluded in the original #23for23 because La Salle asked head coach Chot Reyes to hold off for the moment, was a keen observer in practice. And since he wasn't suiting up, the high-flying combo guard instead met with top officials and the rest of the Gilas coaching staff. With the second window of the Asian Qualifiers coming up, Gilas officially opened camp following the holiday break. Aside from the main team that saw action in the opening window back in February, a handful of the #23for23 pool members were also present in practice. [Related: BACK TO WORK: Gilas opens first practice for 2018] For now, Gilas Pilipinas will meet once a week every Monday in preparation for a road game against Australia and a home outing vs. Japan next month.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2018

Ricci finally practices with Gilas Pilipinas

After taking a leave of absence from De La Salle University, Ricci Rivero was a full participant in Gilas Pilipinas practice Monday at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas. Only an observer during the national team's first training session of the year last Jan. 8 as well as last week, Rivero was finally in a Pilipinas jersey and ready to go, a couple of days after his request to take a leave from La Salle's basketball team was made official. Rivero ran some sets with the national team and his official inclusion to the #23for23 pool seems to be already official at this point. Joining Rivero in practice from the #23for23 pool were Juan Gomez De Liano, Kai Sotto, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, Kenneth Tuffin, Javee Mocon, Paul Desiderio, Will Gozum, and Karl Tamayo. As for the senior squad, Jayson Castro and June Mar Fajardo led the way together with Troy Rosario, Mac Belo, Allein Maliksi, Carl Bryan Cruz, Kevin Alas, Kiefer Ravena, Japeth Aguilar, and team captain Gabe Norwood. RR Pogoy and Matthew Wright were in attendance but didn't paticipate in practice.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2018

20 players show up for latest Gilas practice

A total of 20 players showed up for Gilas Pilipinas practice Monday at the Meralco Gym, the national team's third session this year. For the main Gilas roster, Kiefer Ravena was the first to show up, joining San Miguel star June Mar Fajardo in training. Kevin Alas, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, RR Pogoy, Mac Belo, Carl Bryan Cruz, Jayson Castro, and team captain Jayson Castro were also in attendance. For the #23for23 pool, CJ Perez and Thirdy Ravena were on deck, joining Juan Gomez De Liano, Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Abu Tratter, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, Will Gozum, and Joshua Sincair. Also in attedance was head coach Chot Reyes, who missed last week's practice. PBA OIC Willie Marcial was watching as well. Castro, CBC, and Sinclair were in attendance but didn't participate in drills. Missing for the third straight week is Alaska's Calvin Abueva. For the rest of the main roster, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Raymond Almazan, Allein Maliksi were also out.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2018

This is not your kuya s Gilas Pilipinas

Basketball continues to evolve and the Philippine brand is not exempted from it. With the release of the initial #23for23 pool for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, one thing is for sure: Gilas Pilipinas will look a whole lot different in 2023 compared to the one that's currently trying to qualify for the 2019 World Cup. The future Gilas will still have a ton of shooters since that's one of the national team's greatest strengths but the future Gilas will also have a higher ceiling than any other Philippine team ever assembled ever. Seriously, one quick look at the initial #23for23 list and you'll see 10 players listed at least 6'6". Five of them are listed at least 6'8". Kai Sotto is already a legit seven footer at 15 while AJ Edu is an ultra-athletic forward that stands 6'11". The wings and guard spots are also filled with guys who are listed at 6'4". Guys like Kobe Paras, Thirdy Ravena, and even CJ Perez all have decent size to play at those positions. In the current #23for23 list, the shortest player is Ateneo's Matt Nieto at 5'10". Oh and almost all of the players in that list, including the supposed towers and anchors of the team, can shoot from the outside. It's the time of the basketball unicorn and it's about time the Philippines caught up. "We have to start somewhere," head coach Chot Reyes on putting up his list of players for 2023. "That's our dream for Philippine basketball for the longest time. Now we're starting that with that vision in mind, to have tall players who can still play, run, and shoot at the same time," he added. Following Gilas' first practice for 2018 Monday, it appears that the future can live up to potential. The room for development is there of course but the foundation seems solid for now. "Somebody was mentioning in the shooting drills na lahat nakaka-shoot ah. That's the reason why they're here," Reyes said. "They were all chosen for their shooting ability and that's what we're looking for. The ones that can shoot the long ball and still have the height," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Kobe Paras upbeat about the Gilas Pilipinas 2023 squad he ll eventually lead

If you ask Filipino forward Kobe Paras to describe what all the early developments for the Gilas Pilipinas squad for the 2023 FIBA World Cup make him feel, you'll get one word: Happy. Paras, who was one of the more prominent names among 23 young players listed by the Philippine national basketball team head coach Chot Reyes to be part of the early training pool, expressed his approval of the group of guys, even if some are visibly left off of the list because of their commitment to other squads. "I’m happy with the group of guys. I know there are a lot of guys that aren’t on the list," Paras said in an interview with Steve Angeles of ABS-CBN News North America during the Los Angeles Clippers' Filipino Heritage Night. "It makes sense if they’re not on the list because of their teams or whatever rules but I’m happy with it."  One player who fit that bill was De La Salle University's flashy forward Ricci Rivero, who was left off the list after his school urged its players to focus on their rebuild next UAAP season. Even then, the 6'6" Paras, who's more or less baptized by Coach Chot to be destined to be the face of the nationa team sounded both honored and excited about his inclusion to the squad, who'll represent the Filipino tricolor five years from now, as the Philippines co-hosts the international basketball meet with Indonesia and Japan. "I’m happy that coach picked me as well. I love representing my country so I’m just really happy that he chose me for that," said the U.S.-based Paras. "I saw the other day they practiced." Aside from local, homegrown talents included in the "#23for23" pool like Thirdy Ravena, CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Isaac Go, a couple of Filipino-Americans also made the list. Remy Martin, a rookie point guard for the Arizona State Sun Devils, and Dwight Ramos from the California State-Fullerton Titans, were names present in the preliminary pool. As a fellow Pinoy cager in a foreign land, Kobe is nothing but eager to meet, and eventually play his contemporaries. "I haven’t talked to Remy [Martin] or what’s his name from Fullerton...Dwight [Ramos]," Kobe said. "I think I’m going to play him too. I gotta talk to Dwight but I’ve seen Remy play. I need to talk to them though. Because we’re representing L.A. and the Philippines so it’s going to be cool."  Here's the full video interview of Kobe Paras:  .@_kokoparas enjoyed being at .@LAClippers Filipino Heritage Night and he also expressed his happiness about being on SBP #23for23 He hopes to also speak to .@3wight and .@1Remy_Martin1 soon 🇵🇭🏀🌊 .@abscbnsports .@ABSCBNNewsSport .@ABSCBNNews pic.twitter.com/e8GcUq1Luf — Steve Angeles (@StevieAngeles) January 9, 2018.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Yeng Guiao ‘really impressed’ with Ricci Rivero: ‘He almost made the team’

When Yeng Guiao made the final cut for his team that will fly to Indonesia for the Asian Games, it was almost expected that youngsters Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero would be the ones who won't be included in the lineup. Rivero and Paras were part of the 14-man pool that Guiao chose but were ultimately left out in favor of the PBA veterans already familiar with the coach's basketball system. The exclusion, however, did not mean that Guiao did not see any potential from the 20-year-old Rivero. "I'm really impressed with Ricci's talent and skills, he almost made it to the team," said Guiao Friday at Meralco Gym after the team's practice. "I told Ricci that I'm impressed with what...Keep on reading: Yeng Guiao ‘really impressed’ with Ricci Rivero: ‘He almost made the team’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 12th, 2018

Hindi nasayang ang (pagsama sa) practice -- Rivero

Despite missing the cut in the national men’s basketball team’s final roster for the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games, Ricci Rivero remains thankful for the opportunity to train under head coach Yeng Guiao. Guiao announced the final lineup Friday after the squad’s practice at the Meralco gym. Unfortunately, young talents Kobe Paras and Rivero didn’t make the lineup as well as Talk ‘N Text guard Don Trollano, who sacrificed his spot for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson despite the eligibility of the NBA player still in doubt pending the petition of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to the Indonesian organizers to include him in the Asiad roster.        “Actually wala (sama ng loob), nothing against anyone sobrang thankful pa rin ako,” said Rivero. “I talked to coach Yeng sabi ko, “Sobrang thank you for this opportunity.” “Kasi sobrang dami kong natutunan. First, yung mga kuya and then next sina coach Yeng kasi sobrang hands on nila,” added Rivero. “Si coach Yeng kasi nakikita ko sobrang galing niyang mag-develop ng player, in a short time sobrang dami kong natutunan sa kanya. So yun sobrang thank you.” Rivero was present in all the five practice sessions of the Nationals, which started Monday. Rivero rushed into the Meralco gym Monday after landing in Manila following the University of the Philippines’ training in Serbia. In the end, Rivero was thankful for the rare chance to vie for a spot for the tricolors. For me hindi (nasayang ang pag-ensayo), sobrang thankful talaga ako na yun nga naging part ako nito,” he said. “Nu’ng una pa lang naman na narinig ko sobrang thankful na ako, gusto ko siyempreng makasama pero siyempre di ba PBA players na yan and hindi naman sila basta-basta. Sobrang thankful ako, hindi nasayang ang (pagsama sa) practice.” The Nationals that will try to surpass the seventh place finish of Gilas in the 2014 Incheon Asiad will be led by the core of Rain or Shine in Chris Tiu, Maverick Ahanmisi, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, James Yap, and Gabe Norwood. Completing the team are JP Erram, Christian Standhardinger, Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, Asi Taulava and Clarkson.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

PBA: Asiad stint is ROS sacrifice for flag and country

The core of the Rain or Shine team to be handled by coach Yeng Guiao will comprise the Philippine team set to see action in the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia. At least seven to eight Elasto Painters will be included in the pool of players to be submitted by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC), together with three members of the Gilas cadets, a few big men from NLEX, of which Guiao is the coach, and Fil-Am and NBA stalwart Jordan Clarkson. The SBP in consultation with Guiao, is looking to submit the list to INASGOC by Friday. “We’ve been way past the deadline so we’re pushing him, rushing him (coach Yeng) to really come up with the lineup already,” said SBP president Al Panlilio, who was joined by league commissioner Willie Marcial, and Rain or Shine board representative Atty. Mamerto Mondragon during a mini-press conference that followed the regular monthly PBA board meeting on Thursday. During the meeting, the board formalized its approval of Rain or Shine as the lead team that will overlook the country’s campaign in the August 18 to Sept. 2 Asian showcase. Panlilio said Guiao has the list of Rain or Shine players he’d like to be part of the team along with cadet players Ricci Rivero, Kobe Paras, and Abu Tratter. For good measure, the SBP official said Guiao is also working out on possibly getting some of NLEX’s big men be included in the pool. “I spoke to coach Yeng kanina and he was even thinking of including Asi (Taulava) to help out in guarding the big guys from the other teams,” said Panlilio of the veteran center, who played during the 2002 Asiad in Busan, South Korea. As for the 6-foot-5 Clarkson, the SBP president said it’s all up to INASGOC whether to approve his accreditation or not if indeed, the Cleveland Cavaliers stalwart is eligible to play under the Asiad rule. The short window of forming a team for the quadrennial meet has also forced the PBA to stand by its earlier decision to just send one ball club to the Asiad so as not to affect the schedule of the season-ending Governors Cup. TnT Katropa was originally the one tasked to form a team bound for Indonesia, but begged off at the last minute following the melee that marred the FIBA World Cup qualifier between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia. “Pinag-usapa pa last board meeting na one team lang para hindi masira ang schedule. One team naman lang talaga ang policy nun,” said Marcial. In this regard, Panlilio expressed how grateful the SBP is to both Rain or Shine and the PBA for again addressing the call for flag and country. “I’d like to thank Rain or Shine for really stepping up to the plate in their commitment to our Gilas program, at least in the Asian Games,” said Panlilio, who is also Meralco’s representative to the league board......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2018

Kobe Paras joins Juan GDL, Ricci Rivero in UP for UAAP Season 82

The future of the University of the Philippines just keeps getting brighter and brighter. Already with a fully-loaded lineup for UAAP Season 81 and with Ricci Rivero coming in Season 82, the Fighting Maroons have secured the services of yet another Gilas cadet in Kobe Paras. “I look forward to the challenge of helping make UP a better basketball team as well as the challenge of helping myself become a better student,” he said in the team’s release on Wednesday. Paras will have to serve a one-year residency before being eligible to suit up for State U in Season 82. Then, he and Rivero will be debuting for the maroon and green, joining Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano, Will Gozum, Jun Manzo, and Nigerian powerhouse Bright Akhuetie. All Gilas cadets, Paras, Rivero, Juan GDL, and Gozum are now also teammates in Diliman. Still, head coach Bo Perasol said that winning needs much more than just talent. “We are fortunate to have a talent like Kobe on board, but winning, as experience has shown us, takes more than talent. We have to get everyone on the same page and to play the right way,” he said. Nonetheless, the addition of Paras is yet another big-time move for UP’s long-suffering basketball program. And on a more personal note, he will be following in the footsteps of father Benjie who won for the Fighting Maroons their last championship in the ‘80s as well as brother Andrei who played for them for one season. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 11th, 2018

Kobe Paras joins UP for UAAP Season 82

KOBE Paras has committed to play for the University of the Philippines (UP) men’s basketball team. Paras will serve a one-year residency as he is a transferee from Creighton University in the US NCAA. He will be eligible to play alongside fellow Gilas Pilipinas Cadets in Ricci Rivero, brothers Juan and Javi Gomez De Liaño, [...] The post Kobe Paras joins UP for UAAP Season 82 appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJul 11th, 2018

Almost perfect attendance in Gilas practice before flying to Taiwan

Both Gilas Pilipinas and the Gilas cadets were out in numbers as they trained for the last time in Manila before going to Taiwan for the next round of qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Only the injured Mac Belo was not inside the Meralco Gym in Ortigas on Monday for the Gilas Pilipinas practice in preparation for the third window of the Asian Qualifiers from late June to early July. Naturalized player Andray Blatche was in action and was joined by skipper Gabe Norwood, Asia’s best point guard Jayson Castro, and four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo. Also there were Calvin Abueva, Baser Amer, Carl Bryan Cruz, Jiovani Jalalon, Allein Maliksi, RR Pogoy, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, and Matthew Wright. The Philippine national team is scheduled to depart for Chinese Taipei a week from now and they will take on the home team on June 29. They will then head home to gear up for a matchup with powerhouse Australia on July 2 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Alongside the Gilas elite, Gilas cadets J-Jay Alejandro, Kobe Paras, Troy Rike, Prince Rivero, Ricci Rivero, and Abu Tratter were also present in practice. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

How exactly will the Gilas cadets in Filoil Preseason work?

The Gilas cadets will be using the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup as preparation for the 2023 FIBA World Cup. “Actually, this is the start of the long process to prepare for the World Cup in 2023. What a better way to start it than on our home ground – sa Filoil,” Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas deputy director Butch Antonio said. Already named to the Gilas cadets pool are J-Jay Alejandro, Jeo Ambohot, Robert Bolick, Kemark Carino, Paul Desiderio, Isaac Go, Juan Gomez de Liano, Will Gozum, Javee Mocon, Matt Nieto, Kobe Paras, CJ Perez, Thirdy Ravena, Ricci Rivero, Arvin Tolentino, Abu Tratter, and Ken Tuffin as well as high school stars Kai Sotto and Carl Tamayo. But as per Antonio, nothing is set in stone. “We have been given flexibility by Filoil. Ang gagawin namin, the pool will be part of it, a pool of 14 to 16 then plus-minus na yan,” he said. Indeed, that would be for the best as the Filoil Preseason is also traditionally utilized by school-based squads to gear up for the looming collegiate wards. With at least a dozen members of the Gilas cadets pool also lined up in school-based squads, it’s best to be flexible. And so, what happens when the Gilas cadets have a matchup with a school-based squad which a player as part of the pool? Say, when it’s the Gilas cadets versus Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, and San Beda College? “It’s gonna be a weird setup when players are gonna play for their school teams and us, but hopefully, we’re gonna manage. When we play against Player A’s team, Player A will play for his team,” Antonio said. In our example then, Bolick and Mocon will suit up for the Red Lions up against the Gilas cadets. And if the Gilas cadets have a game and then a particular player has another game for his school-based squad within the day? “Now, if Player A has a game before or after us, he plays for his team and he will double-up (for the Gilas cadets). Nakausap na naman nina coach Chot [Reyes] and coach Jong [Uichico] most of the college coaches so we’ll manage na lang the minutes,” Antonio said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 17th, 2018

Kobe set to come home to bolster '23for23 team in 2018 Filoil joust

Kobe Paras is coming home. The son of former PBA Rookie-MVP Benjie who recently turned pro, Kobe is flying to the Philippines to bolster the Gilas Pilipinas #23for23 crew that will see action in the upcoming 2018 Filoil-Flying V Preseason Premier Cup. Head coach Chot Reyes confirmed the development via a Facebook post from Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas, the national team's chief backer. "Kobe needs to play, not just practice. The more actual games he gets, the better he'll become. That's why we're including him in our Filoil and Jones Cup rosters," Reyes said from the release. Following an underwhelming freshman season at Creighton, Kobe transferred to Cal State Northridge with hopes of playing next season in the US NCAA Division 1. However, Paras never suited up for the Matadors after deciding to go pro earlier this year. The Filoil stint should be Kobe's first action since his decision. Kobe is set to arrive this weekend to join the national team in practice.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

23 for 23 Gilas cadets competing in 2018 Filoil Preseason

The preparations for the 2023 FIBA World Cup is set to begin early. The 23 for 2023 Gilas Pilipinas cadets are set to compete with the top collegiate teams in the country in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup. "To kickstart our preparations for the 2023 World Cup, we will be competing in the Premier Cup," Gilas head coach Chot Reyes confirmed. As they have either exhausted their eligibility or not committed to any school, Ricci Rivero, J-Jay Alejandro, and Abu Tratter will be the mainstays for the team.  On the other hand, as a compromise to their schools for the tournament, the rest of the cadets will only be allowed to join Gilas if their school does not have a scheduled game for the day. "The lineup is not yet final but we are hoping that all the 23 for 2023 cadets here will be allowed to play," Reyes added. The rest of the pool will include Robert Bolick, Kemark Carino, and Javee Mocon of NCAA champion San Beda College; Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, and Thirdy Ravena of UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University; Kenneth Tuffin and Arvin Tolentino of Far Eastern University; Paul Desiderio, Juan Gomez de Liano, and Will Gozum of University of the Philippines; CJ Perez of Lyceum of the Philippines University; Jeo Ambohot of Colegio de San Juan de Letran; Kai Sotto of Ateneo High School; and Carl Tamayo of Nazareth School of National University. This would not have been possible without the support of Chooks-to-Go and Smart Communications. "We would like to thank Chooks-to-Go and Smart for their continued support. Also, we are grateful to their schools for lending their student-athletes for the national cause," Reyes expressed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2018

Blatche leads complete Gilas to practice

An in-shape Andray Blatche has once again led Gilas Pilinas in its continued preparation for Australia and Japan in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. On the second day of the Philippine national team's daily practice session Tuesday at the Meralco Gym, Blatche was at the forefront of a complete Gilas crew, a first in 2018. Blatche was joined in training by team captain Gabe Norwood, June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva, Troy Rosario, Allein Maliksi, RR Pogoy, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Kevin Alas, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Jio Jalalon. Kiefer Ravena and Mac Belo were also in attendance but didn't partcipate in drills. Unlike their session on Monday, the national team ran more sets Tuesday including a three-team scrimmage. Joining the senior Gilas crew were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Arvin Tolentino and Kenneth Tuffin from the #23for23 pool as well as the African selection led by Ateneo center Chibueze Ikeh. The Philippines will face Australia in Melbourne on Feb. 22 before hosting Japan on Feb. 25.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2018

Andray Blatche leads Gilas first closed-door practice of 2018

Ten days before the Philippines challenges Australia in the first round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas finally started its closed-door daily training sessions Monday at Greenhills. Led by naturalized center Andray Blatche, who arrived in the country Friday night, the national team went to work as they prepare for the Boomers on Feb. 22. Solo Group B lead will be at stake in that titanic showdown in Melbourne. Joining Blatche for his first full practice with Gilas this year is team captain Gabe Norwood. Also in attendance were Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, Calvin Abueva, Matthew Wright, RR Pogoy, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Jio Jalalon, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Abu Tratter from the #23for23 pool. Japeth Aguilar didn't participate in drills but was in attendance as well.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2018

Kai can train in Europe, America, wherever. But on one condition

Everyone is going all in on Kai Sotto as the can't-miss future of Philippine basketball. Joining Chooks-to-Go's roster Saturday as one of the company's brand ambassadors, the 15-year-old Ateneo High School Phenom is set up for big things when it comes to the rest of his hoops career. For one, the chief backer of Gilas Pilipinas is 100-percent ready to help the 7'1" star in terms of his development outside the country. That's aside from the ridiculous amount of protein he can have as a Chooks ambassador. "A big part of that [partnership] is our support in the development of Kai outside the country," Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascarinas said of Sotto. While Kai is still not part of the Gilas Pilipinas team as a regular team member --- he's the centerpiece of the #23for23 pool --- the towering center is most definitely part of the national team's long-term plans. "On our end, all of our invitations, he's going to be part of the consideration na kung pwede ba siya isama," head coach Chot Reyes said. "Again, he goes to school eh, he has his class schedule to think of," he added. But as long as Kai maintains his good academic standing at Ateneo, he can have access to basically all the overseas training he can think of. All of that just for his development as the can't-miss future prospect of Philippine basketball. "There are a lot of corporations and friends who are willing to help develop Kai," Ateneo Blue Eagles adviser Arben Santos said. "But as Chot said, [in Ateneo] we put student first and athlete second. I told Kai he can have all the training, whether Europe, America... as long as you don't have a summer [class]. That means you cannot fail in school," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2018

Chot tries to clear air with Ricci s non-inclusion to '23for23: Wala naman tayong di pinapayagan

Just because Ricci Rivero is out of the initial #23for23 pool doesn't mean he's never going to get the chance to suit up for Gilas Pilipinas. At least we're clear on that. In fact, the La Salle star was in attendance Monday as the national team opened camp for 2018 in preparation for the new window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. "They've really been in touch since the list came out," head coach Chot Reyes said when asked about Rivero. "We had to explain the situation with the school and they asked if they can try out, but it has to be something we talk about with their school," he added. La Salle asked Reyes to not include all current Green Archers in the pool for now, citing transition within the school's basketball program. Head coach Aldin Ayo, who steered the Green Archers to two straight UAAP Finals with one title, has left for UST. His move was made official also Monday. "But still, they came in their own volition and sa akin naman, we're all inclusive," Reyes said, still talking about Rivero. "Wala naman tayong di pinapayagan, di pinapapunta. But that's a different discussion altogether. It remains to be seen what will happen in the next couple of weeks," Reyes added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2018