WITH the continuous improvement of the pandemic situation in the country, the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team is bracing for a return to its own training camp soon to prepare for the fast-approaching Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Coach Pat Aquino said the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) already requested for a training clearance from the Philippine Sports Commission with less than three months left in their SEA Games title defense preparation.

“We’re getting ready to go back to training,” Mr. Aquino told The STAR following the SBP’s submission of the formal request letter through executive director Sonny Barrios.

“We’re hoping for the soonest approval so we can start preparing as early as possible,” he added.

Though Gilas is willing to enter another bubble training, Mr. Aquino is hoping for a nod to hold camp under a closed-circuit setup like the other pro and national teams right now.

“…We will be ready for bubble training. We will follow Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) protocols,” he added, citing the regular Zoom workouts of the Filipina ballers since their last stint.

Gilas last saw action in the 2021 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup last October in Jordan, finishing at seventh place to stay in the prestigious Division A.

In Hanoi this May, the Filipina ballers will be out for a second straight gold medal in both 3×3 and 5-on-5 events after a twin-title in the 2019 edition held here. — John Bryan Ulanday