Sending the Gilas Pilipinas national men’s basketball to numerous tournaments abroad is in the works.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio said this after the Philippines was bracketed in Group A of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers last Tuesday.
“It’s still in the planning stages,” said Panlilio as the SBP prepares to give Gilas a much-needed exposure to help it grow and develop into a better team.
Head coach Tab Baldwin plans to bring the nationals to the United States and Europe to join tournaments, with less than two years to go before the FIBA World Cup gets going, with the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia as hosts.
Last month, Gilas went to Amman, Jordan for the 10th King Abdullah Cup and finished fourth after bowing in the semifinals.
While there, Gilas played against more experienced teams like Jordan, Tunisia and Egypt.
Their stint served as Gilas’ preparation for the 2021 Asia Cup, before Jakarta reset its hosting of the FIBA Asia Cup to next year because of the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
Baldwin is set to get Gilas back into training mode by October, with the Qualifiers’ first window taking place by November.
Gilas will also get ready for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, and the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.
Team Pilipinas was drawn in the same World Cup bracket with Korea, which is one of its toughest opponents in several international meets. Joining them are New Zealand and India.
Gilas, along with 79 participating countries, will play in six windows for the next 15 months.
The windows of competition are in the four FIBA continental zones of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania and Europe.
From November 2021 to February 2023, there will be a total of 420 games that will be contested in a home and away format.
Thirty-two teams will then qualify for the quadrennial event