Gilas five takes on Thailand

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    NO PBA stars, no naturalized player, no problem for Gilas Pilipinas?

    An all-amateur Gilas five battles Thailand in Group A action today as the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers resumes under a bubble set-up at the Khalifa Sport City in Manama, Bahrain.

    The match is set at 9 p.m. and will be played likely without a crowd due to the restrictions of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Filipino dribblers came off a 100-70 drubbing of Indonesia in the first window last Feb. 23 under interim strategist Mark Dickel.

    Fielding a lean 10-man roster all made up of the core of pro team Hi-Tech Bangkok City this time, the Thais are out to redeem themselves from an 86-93 loss to South Korea also last Feb. 23 in Seoul.

    Gilas coach Jong Uichico was expected to name his final 12 last night.

    “We came in a little bit late. We might have come in earlier (training bubble) but we didn’t know if the tournament would push through or not. We went into the bubble (at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna) and did the best that we could, with a twice-a-day practice” Uichico said on the Coaches Unfiltered podcast.

    “Most of the time it was twice-a-day practice trying to put in the system, concepts, and the principles of coach Tab (Baldwin) since this is a development program and we have young players. Parang bago lahat, bago iyong players, new coach, new system,” he added.

    Center Isaac Go, guard Rey Suerte, and twins Matt and Mike Nieto, all Gilas special draftees last year, and wingman Jaydee Tungcab lead the all-amateur squad.