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Cagebelles plot bubble camp



The national women’s basketball team is plotting another bubble training in preparation for two major international tourneys next year.

Gilas Pilipinas Women head coach Patrick Aquino said they are looking to restart their training in November in preparation for the FIBA Women’s World Cup and Southeast Asian Games in 2022.

The qualifiers will unwrap from 10 to 13 February while the biennial meet will be staged around May in Hanoi.

“We hope that we can start immediately, maybe by November or December. Hopefully, we can manage all of that preparation time and be back,” Aquino said.

Aquino added that they couldn’t afford to hold another abbreviated training, similar to what they had last month that resulted to an underwhelming campaign in the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Amman, Jordan recently.

He said it was their lack of preparation period doomed their chances as they trained only for one month in Lipa City before marching to battle.

The Philippines, which is ranked 51st in the world, suffered three crushing defeats against heavyweights China, Australia and Chinese Taipei in the preliminaries before defeating India to maintain their Division A status in Asia.

Aquino reiterated that they are looking to beef up their lineup with quality Filipino-foreign talents while bringing back star center Jack Animam, who is currently campaigning for Radnicki Kragujevac in Serbia.

Also tipped to join the camp are Gilas mainstays Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, Clare Castro, Chack Cabinbin, Khate Castillo, Ria Nabalan, Mar Prado and Andrea Tongco.

“Jack said that she will be here, she already asked her team about it. They just need to fix her schedule there,” Aquino said.

“They just need to fix (her schedule) so that it won’t affect her career (while) helping the country itself. She told me that she’s willing to sacrifice things for the country so she’ll be back by February.”