Halfway through their boot camp in Karpenisi, Greece, Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin expressed satisfaction on their accomplishments, all geared towards being at their best during the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the MOA Arena on July 5-10.
They sweat it out with morning and afternoon sessions for five more days before breaking camp in this mountainous Evrytania regional capital city then flying to Islamabad for a warm-up game versus Turkey.
“Gilas boys impressive in practice. Effort & attention on point. Still much to do. Turkey on 21st will be more lessons for us,” said Baldwin on his Twitter account.
Changsha FIBA Asia holdovers Ranidel de Ocampo, Marc Pingris, Gabe Norwood, Calvin Abueva, Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo, and Gilas returnees June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Jeff Chan and LA Tenorio are 10 of 12 PBA players making up the Gilas 14 now in full blast in training with sights set on the Rio Games.
Tropang TNT players Ryan Reyes and Troy Rosario are the two other PBA contributions to the Gilas pool that includes naturalized player Andray Blatche and NBA D-League veteran Bobby Ray Parks.
San Miguel Beer hotshots Marcio Lassiter, who should’ve been a shoo-in for the FIBA OQT, has given up hopes of catching up with the team in Greece – his last chance to make the Gilas team.
“It’s now pointless for Marcio to fly to Europe. He’s not ready for the Greece training. Ang problema yun daw yung timeframe na pwede syang humabol sa Gilas,” said Marvin Espiritu, the agent/adviser of Lassiter.
“But nobody can say that Marcio pulled out of Gilas. Circumstances stood in the way. Siguro kung dito lang sa Pilipinas ang training ng Gilas, makakahabol si Marcio,” Espiritu also said.
With a clearance from his doctor, Lassiter is now doing light workout after a bout with bronchopneumonia.
As per his own estimate, Lassiter needs at least a week to be 90 percent fit. Gilas, however, is already playing warm-up games by next week.
Gilas flies back to Manila on June 27 or a week before the start of the FIBA OQT.