Cebu jaunt binds, unites Philippine 5
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - September 18, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Gilas Pilipinas broke camp in Cebu and flew back to Manila yesterday, three days before leaving for China for the 2015 Fiba Asia Championship.

The Cebu trip proved to be a big boost in terms of bonding and cohesion that further solidified the team gunning for no less than a championship in Changsha for a berth in the Rio Olympics.

“The Cebu trip is a big help. We had the opportunity to really communicate and talk with one another. In Manila, we’re on separate ways after practice,” said Jayson Castro.

Asi Taulava said they’re now not just a team but more like a family.

“We really don’t look at it like we’re a team. We’re more of a family. From Estonia to the Jones Cup to now, we’ve seen how much better we’ve gotten along as a team,” said Asi Taulava, as quoted by a Cebuano scribe Jonas Panerio.

“Within the team, it’s like a ‘brother’ relationship. Nobody has any hard feelings and we try to keep everyone focused on the task at hand. That’s the journey we’re on: trying to make it to Rio,” Taulava said.

Ending their Cebu jaunt at noon yesterday, the Nationals take a rest today and hold one final practice at the Meralco Gym tomorrow before flying to Changsha Monday.

Gilas Pilipinas intends to hold at least two practice sessions in Changsha before opening their FIBA Asia campaign versus Palestine on Wednesday.

A concern Thursday morning was Castro waking up ill, Matt Ganuelas Rosser going down with the flu, and Calvin Abueva hurting his ankle.

Still, the three joined the practice that was opened to the public as a treat by the team to the Cebu fans.

At the end of their Cebu camp, Taulava, the team’s senior statesman at 42, borrowed the words of Jordan Clarkson, saying they’re “all in” in the effort to bring the country back to the Olympic basketball competition in Rio de Janeiro next year.

ACIRC ASI TAULAVA CALVIN ABUEVA CEBU CHANGSHA CHANGSHA MONDAY FIBA ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP FROM ESTONIA GILAS PILIPINAS IN MANILA JAYSON CASTRO
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