Lucky FEU trio reinforces Gilas | Inquirer Sports

Lucky FEU trio reinforces Gilas

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 02:10 AM August 27, 2016

For the past months, these players did nothing but win championships.

So when Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia and Roger Pogoy suit up for the all-amateur Gilas Pilipinas squad, they hope to add another crown to their string of titles.

“There’s no time to celebrate,” said Tolomia. “We’re going straight to Gilas practice.”

The trio recently starred in Phoenix’s back-to-back title romp in the PBA D-League, just months after powering Far Eastern University to the UAAP championship.

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Phoenix coach Eric Gonzales commended Tolomia in their Foundation Cup title run where his spunky guard, despite coming off a flu, erupted for 21 points to lead the Accelerators past Tanduay, 87-78, in the winner-take-all Game 3 last Thursday.

“Good thing he showed leadership,” Gonzales said of Tolomia, the conference Most Valuable Player.

“He’s a leader on court. He has also been a winner. He doesn’t like to lose games.”

But Belo, Tolomia and Pogoy know  that it will be tougher to pull off a dominating run when the national team sees action in the Fiba Asia Challenge from Sept. 9 to 18 in Iran.

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“We’re the smallest team so it will be a challenge for us,” said Belo, the UAAP Finals MVP who also bagged the D-League Aspirants Cup MVP.  “We have to double our effort.”

Belo has been seeing action for the national team, including Gilas’ golden run in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games and the Seaba Stankovic Cup last May.

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The Cotabato native will again be joined in Iran by Tolomia and Pogoy,  along with FEU and Phoenix teammates Russel Escoto and Carl Bryan Cruz.

Also part of the squad are Gilas pool mainstays Kevin Ferrer of University of Santo Tomas and Ateneo’s Von Pessumal.

UST’s Ed Daquioag will don the national colors for the first time along with La Salle’s Arnold Van Optal, Ateneo’s Alfonso Gotladera, University of the East’s Chris Javier and Lyceum’s CJ Perez.

Blackwater’s Almond Vosotros, the lone pro player, and St. Benilde’s Jonathan Grey were the final cuts but are expected to be listed as reserves.

Former Gilas deputy Josh Reyes will make his coaching debut in the tournament where an all-pro national team clinched a bronze medal in Wuhan, China in 2014.

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The Philippines has been bunched with Chinese Taipei and India in Group B of the elimination round.

TAGS: Basketball, FEU, Gilas Pilipinas, Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia, Roger Pogoy

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