EVEN with its match against Thailand this Thursday called, Gilas Pilipinas intends to keep the pedal on the floor.
Gilas interim coach Mark Dickel is expected to name an initial 15-man line-up in the coming days before naming final 12 for the nationals’ match against Indonesia on Feb. 23 in the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
“Over the next couple of days, we have to release to FIBA (the roster) just to let them know who’s going to be (in the line-up) for clearance reasons. I’m sure over the next 48 hours, that will be confirmed and released,” Dickel was quoted as saying by online sports portal spin.ph after the team’s practice at the Meralco Gym last Saturday night.
“We haven’t really thought too much about who is going to make the 15 or the 12. It’s just been more about really impressed with how the players have played and how hard they’ve competed and stuff like that. It’s really good,” he added.
While Dickel and his coaching staff are burning the midnight oil, a postponement of Gilas’ game against the Indonesians looms large.
The Filipino dribblers were supposed to clash with Thailand at the Smart Araneta Coliseum this Thursday but the match was called off by FIBA due to the threat posed by the deadly coronavirus.
As of yesterday, the Gilas-Indonesia duel at the Mahaka Arena in Jakarta is a go although a report by Kompas, one of Indonesia’s top newspapers, said Indonesia’s Ministry of Youth and Sports has instructed the Indonesian Basketball Association to postpone the game and also its Feb. 20 game against South Korea. – Michael Jugado