By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Junior Batang Gilas Pilipinas big men Kevin Quiambao and Raven Cortez will not be joining the other cadets at the Inspire Sports Academy bubble.
After getting an invite to the camp to train for the upcoming FIBA Olympics Qualifying Tournament (OQT), Quiambao and Cortez easily waived it off and shared that they will have to finish their subjects first.
“Hindi ako makakasali sa Gilas ngayon dahil may tinatapos pa akong subjects. Very crucial kasi ito para maka-enroll ako sa La Salle,” said Quiambao.
Gilas program director Tab Baldwin and the rest of the coaching staff are already in the process of selecting the initial roster for the FIBA tournament and both Quiambao and Cortez were included.
“I’ve decided po muna to focus on my studies sa La Salle Zobel since graduating po ako ngayon. Yun po yung priority ko po kasi ngayon, yung makatapos ng high school,” shared Cortez.
With Quiambao and Cortez’s absence, coach Baldwin will have to consider bringing back Gilas staples Justine Baltazar and Kemark Carino who already proved themselves during the Manama bubble last year.
Gilas already started their preparations and will have a huge challenge in forming the best roster with no PBA players included due to conflict of schedule in their games.