SBP: The cadets are now Gilas 5.0

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Say hello to the new faces of Philippine basketball. After falling short in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament — a new generation of players is getting ready to pick up where Gilas 4.0 left off.

In response to the newly revised FIBA international calendar that will be implemented next year, the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) have formed a new team to represent the country.

The pool is composed of former collegiate and national youth team standouts — with talents such as Mac Belo and Kevin Ferrer leading the way. According to Gilas team manager Butch Antonio, this is the country’s fresh face in the international scene. But the final roster has yet to be revealed.

“I think it's better to call them already the Gilas 5.0, so for all intents and purposes the cadets have been elevated to the elite program,” said Antonio.

The team is preparing for a stint against some of the continent’s top basketball nations at the FIBA Asia Challenge this September.

The top five teams at the tournament will earn an extra berth for their respective sub-zone for the 2017 FIBA Asia Championship.

And coach Josh Reyes, who will take over for Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin on an interim basis, understands the tough task that lies ahead.

“This team, our team will not have a chance to play tuneup games on the Asian international level. So once they step in the tournament, that’s the first time that they will play at that level," admitted Reyes. "That’s where the pressure lies, really it's trial by fire.”

With no professional players in the pool, Baldwin says that the program has to develop the young players properly and that the margin for error is small.

“We have to professionalize this group, we have to intensively train them over a significantly long period of time, and we have to get them competition on a regular basis that they have never dreamed of competing against," said Baldwin. "We have to do everything right.”

Gilas 5.0 will get their chance to test their mettle at the FIBA Asia Challenge in Iran this September.