By Girald Gaston


After a breakout season, Most Improved Player nomination, Raul Soyud earned a surprise National team call-up.

Alongside TNT stalwarts Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario, they are the next batch of PBA players to join the Gilas Pilipinas training pool inside the Calambubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna.

Gilas team manager Gabby Cui confirmed that the three will enter the bubble this Friday, when the  training camp officially begins as they prepare for the 3rd window of FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers that will take place on Clark, Pampangga next month.

“We’ve undergone PCR testing earlier as one of the prerequisites in entering the bubble,” said Cui on Tuesday.

Soyud, a seven-year and former UP Fighting maroon, bloomed at the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, averaging 10.0 points on 74-percent shooting from the field and 6.82 rebounds in 11 games played.

Just recently, the 6-foot-6 center's hardwork paid off after being signed to a new, two-year contract by NLEX management.

Pogoy and Rosario, meanwhile, came from an excellent campaign from the All-Filipino Cup with TNT Tropang Giga, finishing as runner-up.

Currently in the training bubble are Kiefer Ravena, CJ Perez, Justin Chua, Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Rey Suerte, Javi Gomez de Liaño, Dave Ildefonso, Justine Baltazar, Calvin Oftana, William Navarro, and Kemark Carino. Angelo Kouame is also helping the team, waiting for his naturalization process to be done.

Gilas will battle against South Korea on February 18, Indonesia on the 20th, and Korea again on the 22nd as host in the 3rd window.