PBA players CJ Perez, Justin Chua enter Gilas training bubble in Calamba

CJ Perez and Justin Chua have received call-ups to join the Gilas Pilipinas pool for the third and final window of the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers this February.

The two PBA standouts have already joined the training bubble on Friday at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, but both have yet to report to practice.

"I haven't seen them yet," coach Jong Uichico said in a text message.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio said the two are in quarantine and have already taken their respective swab tests.

"They are here already waiting for their test results," Panlilio said.

Perez and Chua are the latest PBA players to join training after NLEX's Kiefer Ravena entered with the first batch last Jan. 10.

Already in Calamba are special Gilas draft selections Isaac Go, Rey Suerte and twins Mike and Matt Nieto, as well as Justine Baltazar, Javi Gomez de Liaño, Dave Ildefonso, Will Navarro, Calvin Oftana, Kemark Cariño, and naturalized player candidate Angelo Kouame.

The two PBA standouts are also coming off tremendous individual seasons in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup also held inside a bubble in Clark, Pampanga.

Chua, a frontrunner for the Most Improved Player (MIP) award, led the league in blocks (1.6) and 11.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists while helping Phoenix reach the semifinals for the first time in franchise history.

The 31-year-old center also played in the first window of the qualifiers versus Indonesia last February 2020 and had six points and three rebounds in nine minutes of play in the 100-70 win for Gilas.

Meanwhile, Perez is in contention for the Best Player of the Conference (BPC) award after leading the league in points (24.4) for the second straight season. He added 6.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.0 steals for the Terrafirma Dyip, who finished with a 1-10 record.

Perez suited up in the first window as well and tallied 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three assists against the Indonesians.

Other PBA players are expected to make themselves available before training starts on Jan. 22.