Gilas taps Austin, Akhuetie for Fiba Asia Champions Cup
Seeking to boost its roster for the 2017 Fiba Asia Champions Cup, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is set to tap Isaiah Austin as a potential candidate for naturalization.
Sources close to the situation bared that the SBP is also bringing in Austin to backstop Chooks-to-Go Gilas Pilipinas in the eight-team club tournament from Sept. 22-30 in Chenzhou, China.
The 7-foot-1 Austin, 23, is an alumnus of Baylor University, but went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft after being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome.
Apart from Austin, another import in Bright Akhuetie, who is currently serving his residency after transferring from University of Perpertual Help to University of the Philippines, will also beef up the team.
Akhuetie averaged 17.6 and 12.1 rebounds in his last season for the Altas in the NCAA.
Austin, who arrives in Manila on Tuesday, is currently signed with Guangxi Rhinos in China’s second division National Basketball League after suiting up for KK FMP Beograd in Serbia last season, where he averaged 8.4 points and 3.6 rebounds.
Gilas is slotted in Group A with ONGC of India, Mono Vampire of Thailand, Petrochimi of Iran, and Sarreyet Ramallah of Palestine in the group stages.
READ: Gilas, Blatche’s China club set for collision course in Champions Cup
If the Philippine team progresses past the preliminary round, it is set for a collision course against naturalized center Andray Blatche and his mother ball club Xinjiang Flying Tigers.