SPORTS: Gilas Pilipinas – The final 14

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The Filipino Men’s Basketball Team that will be representing the nation in the upcoming FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament that is starting in less than a month in the Philippines has been announced.

It had been decided earlier that the squad that will represent Philippines will be undergoing an intensive training camp in Europe which will be for three weeks so that it is fresh and fit for the qualifiers that will be played in front of wildly cheering home fans.

It had also been decided that the team probables will be announced just after the conclusion of the friendly against Iran that was played last evening; the selection panel was there to witness that tie.

Late last evening, at the conclusion of the match with Iran, a 14-man team was announced including two stand-byes. The announcement was deferred after the match and came much after the conclusion of the Filipino-Iran match since the selectors, the coaching staff and the Head Coach  decided that there was need for a relook at the composition and final shape of the national team.

The team announcement that came out in a tweet by the Team Manager of Gilas Pilipinas, Butch Antonio who revealed the final line-up early this morning; this was after all the aspects had been deliberated upon by the concerned people.

The fourteen players selected for the Gilas Pilipinas’ training camp in Europe and the subsequent tournament are:

  • From Rain or Shine: Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood,
  • From TNT: Troy Rosario, Ranidel de Campo, Jayson Castro and Ryan Reyes,
  • From San Miguel Beer: June Mar Fajardo,
  • From Global Port: Terrence Romeo, twice UAAP most valuabler player Ray Parks, Andray Blatche who is naturalized center,
  • From Star: Marc pingis,
  • From Alaska: Calvin Abueva, and
  • From Barangay Ginebra: La Tenoria and Japeth Aguilar.

Two players out of the final 14 will be nominated as reserves.

The team was picked from the 24 probables that was forwarded to FIBA, the world body for Basketball by The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas for the tournament, but Greg Slaughter, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Paul Lee had been forced out due to injuries.

The other players from the startign lineup who fell by the side are:

  • Roger Pogoy,
  • Russel Escoto,
  • Mac Belo,
  • Kiefer Ravena,
  • Kevin Ferrer, and
  • Mo Tantua, naturalized player backup.

Bronchitis prevented Marcio Lassiter of san Miguel from gaining a place in the final composition of the team.

The final 14 are scheduled to leave this Friday for taking part in a pocket tournament in Italy after playing friendlies in Greece and Turkey.

The Olympic qualifiers are scheduled to be played at The Mall of Asia Arena from July 5th 2016.

Umrao Singh                                          

Written for:  Lars-Magnus Carlsson