Gilas Pilipinas leaves Sunday for Asian Games

MANILA, Philippines — With limited time to work with, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao has welcomed the decision to push the team’s departure for Indonesia ahead by two days.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio said that instead of Tuesday, the team leaves for Jakarta on Sunday for the 18th Asian Games.

Guiao said the extra time in the Indonesian capital should give the team, from the coaching staff to the players, more time to focus together.

“Masosolo namin ang oras nila (We can have all their time),” said Guiao.

Since last Monday, the team that was hastily formed has been practicing at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas, twice a day if as possible.

But Guiao and his staff can only have so much of the players, and the only time he enjoys full control over them is when they’re at the gym.

Once they set foot in Jakarta, the players will do everything together. They will eat, breathe and sleep basketball.

“There will be no distractions,” said Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood, who will be in his 10th tour of duty as member of the national team.