MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas officially entered a government-ordered quarantine on Sunday after a lesson-filled campaign at the Fiba Olympic Qualifiers in Belgrade, Serbia.
Next up for head coach Tab Baldwin and the five youth nationals is the Asia Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia, to be held next August.
Ryan Gregorio of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas said a timeline has not been set as to when Gilas’ leadership will begin planning for the continental games, where the Philippines is aiming for another deep run.
“There have been no discussions so far,” Gregorio, who serves as special assistant to the federation president, Al Panlilio, told the Inquirer.
“(Coach Tab) deserves to rest,” he added candidly.
Baldwin and his wards are currently staying at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City, each awaiting varying release dates due to their respective vaccination status.
The mentor, who is also the mastermind behind the national cage program, said in an earlier interview that he hopes the young team will return to work sometime between July 20 and 25, hoping to capitalize on the lessons. from the near-surprise world No. 5 Serbia, and the subsequent beating at the hands of the Dominican Republic.
“We don’t have the exact dates and we don’t know exactly what the protocol measures will be … But it looks like it will go back to the Calamba bubble for us at this point,” he said.
It is unclear if Baldwin will make a repeat as Gilas’ mentor, and if the team will select the stars of the Philippine Basketball Association for the Asian Cup.
Baldwin, however, is hopeful that he can count on Thirdy Ravena and the other cadets that make up the Philippine talent pool prepared for the 2023 World Cup that the Philippines will co-host along with Japan and Indonesia.
Gilas lost to South Korea in the quarterfinal round of the last Asian Cup held in Lebanon in 2017.
Baldwin was the coach of the last Philippine team to reach the final round. That star-studded PBA team lost to host China in 2015 in a controversial match.
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