Gilas to bank on chemistry in FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers
Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, Matt Nieto and Mike Nieto

Gilas to bank on chemistry in FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers

Luisa Morales ( - November 20, 2020 - 2:26pm

MANILA, Philippines – A young Gilas Pilipinas squad will test their mettle against regional opponents in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers next week in Manama, Bahrain.

Without the services of more seasoned and veteran players in the pros who are still in the middle of the PBA bubble season in Clark City, Pampanga, the nationals will be banking on gelling together as a team.

"With such a young and inexperienced team, we're really looking at chemistry more than we are trying to develop any sort of complex, tactical system," said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin.

Led by collegiate stars like Kobe Paras, and incoming Ateneo de Manila University star Dwight Ramos, this group of Gilas Pilipinas cagers will definitely be facing an acid test in the international stage.

But rather than seeing it as a disadvantage, recently named head coach Jong Uichico is keeping his mindset positive.

"Yes, we might lack experience. Yes, we might lack some size. But the energy that they will give us will be a positive advantage that we can use in our games," said Uichico.

Paras, for his part, isn't feeling any pressure and is choosing to focus on what he and his teammates can control.

"I think we just have to work on our chemistry even more. But I think we're doing fine," said Paras.

The Nationals are set to fly to Bahrain by Sunday.

In the tentative schedule from FIBA, the nationals will face Thailand, a game that was scheduled to be played in Window 1 but has been rescheduled, in the first game.

Then Korea and Indonesia are listed on the schedule for November 28 and 30, respectively.

However, the final schedule and the 12-man lineup for Gilas in the second window of the qualifiers have yet to be announced.

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