Gilas Pilipinas pool known Monday | Inquirer Sports
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Gilas Pilipinas pool known Monday

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 09:56 PM August 02, 2015

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will announce the members of the Gilas Pilipinas pool Sunday even as it exerts all efforts to convince everyone in its original list to make a commitment for flag and country.

Coach Tab Baldwin had reportedly drawn up an initial list of 26 players, but several standouts in the roster have begged off because of different reasons.

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An SBP insider who requested that he not be identified said the association and Baldwin are not giving up on the players, and that they are still hopeful that the likes of two-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, Paul Lee of Rain or Shine and Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel would reconsider.

READ: Fajardo looking to rest due to nagging foot pain

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Gilas’ naturalized player, Andray Blatche, was expected back in Manila last night.

Blatche, the former Brooklyn Net in the NBA, is expected to immediately buckle down to work with those who will be named in the pool. This will be Blatche’s second big tournament with the Philippine team after playing in the World Cup last year in Spain.

The 6-foot-10 Fajardo, who complains of plantar fasciaitis (a disorder that results in pain in the heel and bottom of the foot), Lee, Lassiter, Marc Pingris of Star and LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra are the notables who have reportedly begged off.

READ: Marcio Lassiter could skip Gilas duties, too

Another Ginebra stalwart, Japeth Aguilar, has ruled himself out of the pool after undergoing surgery to repair a disfigured left pinky that will take 12 weeks to heal.

Lee and Lassiter are in the United States attending to their ailing mothers, while Tenorio, the MVP when the Chot Reyes-mentored Gilas ruled the Jones Cup over the United States in 2012, has cited fatigue and poor form.

READ: Tenorio says decision to beg off from pool best for Ginebra, Gilas

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Baldwin is cramming up to form the most competitive Philippine five for the Fiba Asia Championship, set Sept. 23 to Oct. 5 in Changsha in China’s Hunan province.

That tournament will stake just one Asian berth to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Filipinos placed second to Iran in the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship in Manila and made it back to the World Cup last year for the first time since 1978. They won a game—in extra time—over Senegal.

Should the SBP and Baldwin fail to woo those who have already begged off, a PBA insider said Alaska’s Calvin Abueva and JV Casio and Star’s Mark Barroca could be tapped to join the list of candidates.

READ: Abueva, Casio likely Gilas pool prospects

Abueva, according to the PBA source, has been in and out of the original list of Baldwin because there are other players who play the power forward spot and are much bigger than Alaska’s 6-foot-1 bundle of energy.

Barroca and Casio could be called in to replace Lee, considered to be a shoo-in for one of the point guard spots together with 2013 Fiba Asia Mythical Team member Jason Castro.

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TAGS: 2013 Fiba Asia Championship, 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic, Basketball, Marcio Lassiter, Sports
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