Gilas cadets can still play in February window of FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers

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Photo courtesy: FIBA

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 1) – After a promising performance in Bahrain, the Gilas Pilipinas cadets will be given equal chances to vie for a spot in the next team to be sent in February for the third window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers.

Gilas interim head coach Jong Uichico made the assurance after the team defeated Southeast Asian rival Thailand anew, 93-69, on Monday at the Khalifa Sports City in Manama, Bahrain.

"All of them are in contention to have a spot in the third window. All of them have equal chances," said Uichico, a nine-time Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) champion mentor.

The young Gilas Pilipinas team, composed of collegiate stars and PBA rookies, went beyond expectations after sweeping the Thais in two games and elevating the country at the top of Pool A with an immaculate 3-0 record.

The first game last Nov. 27 saw incoming Ateneo Blue Eagle Dwight Ramos score a perfect shooting night finishing with 20 points. Meanwhile, the Gomez de Liaño brothers took charge in their second game on Monday.

Uichico added the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff will assess the team's composition for the February window and the cadets' future once they resume their training camp on January.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas decided to send a young Gilas Pilipinas lineup in the 'bubble' tournament in Manama because of the ongoing PBA Season 45 and to develop these players in future international tournaments.

Aside from Ramos and the Gomez de Liaño brothers , the other Gilas cadet members who played in Bahrain are Isaac Go, brothers Mike and Matt Nieto, William Navarro, Calvin Oftana, Kenmark Cariño, Jaydee Tungcab, Kobe Paras, Justine Baltazar, Rey Suerte, Dave Ildefonso. Allyn Bulanadi and foreign player Angelo Kouame were left out of the Bahrain roster due to the former's injury and the latter's ongoing naturalization.

Gilas is expected to battle Pool A groupmates Indonesia and South Korea in the February 2021 window.