Rookies CJ Perez, Robert Bolick get Gilas Pilipinas invite
BATANGAS — National team coach Yeng Guiao on Sunday said that he wants to bury the proverbial hatchet apropos of Ray Parks Jr.’s decision to decline Gilas Pilipinas’ invitation to attend Gilas pool trainings for the FIBA World Cup.
“Let’s end that episode,” Guiao told a handful of reporters shortly after his NLEX Road Warriors absorbed a 100-85 beating at the hands of Barangay Ginebra at Batangas City Coliseum.
“For me, when you play for the national team, it should be a hundred percent commitment,” he added. “And if you’re half-hearted, I suggest that you might as well don’t.”
According to reports Thursday, Guiao said that Blackwater rookie Parks Jr. declined to pass up on the invitation to join the talent pool’s drum up for the global meet in China.
“I talk to the players who come in for Gilas and I ask them: ‘Are you committed?’ ‘Are you willing to make the sacrifice?’” Guiao shared.
“If [some] are not really that committed, It would really be better to give out the slot to somebody who really wants to play,” he added.
Guiao also revealed that aside from NorthPort’s Robert Bolick, Columbian’s CJ Perez has also expressed interest in heeding the country’s call.
The Dyip rookie was the overall pick in the recent PBA Draft while the Batang Pier’s freshman was the third. For Guiao, both are welcome options in the event that a contingency plan is needed.
“Although there will just be 12 in the [final] lineup, we would be needing one or two as a backup just in case injuries crop up,” the mentor said.
“[Just] like what happened to Raymond (Almazan) when he got injured in our practice in Kazakhstan. Those things can happen.”
But more than that, Guiao stressed that such move is in preparation for the long haul.
“Of course, I do not discount [the possibility] that they could break into the lineup,” he said of Perez and Bolick. “And if we’re really sending pros into the SEA Games, they would be good candidates to get their international experience going.”
“If we start them early, that’s going to give guys like Paul (Lee) and Mark (Barroca) a break should they want to take one come SEA Games. After all, I think we’re competitive with these [crop] of guys, should we really send pros to the event.”
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