Gilas seniors, cadets resume practice for FIBA qualifiers

MANILA — The Gilas pool for the February FIBA World Cup Qualifiers window has officially begun.

And joining the PBA all-star crew is some members of the “23 for ’23”.

The Gilas seniors and the college players of the Gilas Cadets had a joint training session at the Meralco Gym on Monday night.

“That was really the plan. We wanted the kids to get a feel of how the seniors practice. That’s very important,” Head Coach Chot Reyes said.

Eleven of the PBA veterans chosen for Gilas’ games against Australia and Japan on Feb. 22 and 25 respectively. They were Japeth Aguilar, Kevin Alas, Mac Belo, Jayson Castro, Carl Cruz, Jio Jalalon, Allein Maliksi, Gabe Norwood, RR Pogoy, Kiefer Ravena, and Troy Rosario who took part in the drills and the set playmaking session.

Matt Wright was also in attendance, but was relegated to an observer as he is still recovering from an injury suffered in Phoenix’s game against NLEX on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, 10 of the collegiate players chosen to the Gilas Cadets pool took part in the practice — JJay Alejandro, Jeo Ambohot, Robert Bolick, Kenmark Cariño, Paul Desiderio, Isaac Go, Juan Gomez De Liaño, Javee Mocon, CJ Perez, and Thirdy Ravena. They also joined the playsetting and the shooting drills.

Also in attendance were Josh Sinclair and Arvin Tolentino, but they also sat out the practice proper.

Ricci Rivero, among the three La Salle players who had to be pulled out of the cadets pool prospects for the meantime due to the coaching change, was also present but had to be a spectator just like Sinclair and Tolentino.

Also in attendance were Gilas manager Butch Antonio, SBP president Al Panlilio, chairman Sonny Angara, vice chairman  Robbie Puno, executive director Sonny Barrios, and chairman emeritus Manny Pangilinan.