NLEX Road Warriors star guard Kiefer Ravena and the all-amateur Gilas Pilipinas squad that competed in the November window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers were the first to enter the “Calambubble” at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Special Assistant to the President Ryan Gregorio announced the development on Sunday.
“The first batch heading into the training ‘bubble’ includes 2019 PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) Rookie Draft selections Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto and Rey Suerte, who will be joined by Javi Gomez de Liaño, Dave Ildefonso, Justine Baltazar, Calvin Oftana, William Navarro and Kenmark Cariño,” said Gregorio in a statement.
Juan Gomez de Liaño and Dwight Ramos will soon follow their teammates.
Allyn Bulanadi and Jaydee Tungcab will not be joining training this time around.
Bulanadi is set to undergo surgery for the right shoulder injury he sustained last October while Tungcab, reportedly set to play in Japan’s B. League, is still waiting for his Japanese visa.
“Completing the first batch are naturalization candidate Angelo Kouame and Kiefer Ravena of the NLEX Road Warriors,” added Gregorio.
Gilas assistant coach Andrei Tolentino, in an Instagram post on Sunday, said he, Oftana and Cariño have already arrived at the Inspire Sports Academy.
Ravena also also announced via Instagram that he entered the training facility on Sunday.
Gilas is preparing for the third and final window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers to be held in Clark, Pampanga this February.
The Philippines will face South Korea twice on February 18 and 22 and Indonesia once on February 20.
Gilas leads the Group A standings with a 3-0 slate and is only one win away from qualifying for the FIBA Asia Cup proper, which Indonesia will host in August.