Latest 24-man Gilas pool for Asian Cup released
Eleven Philippine Basketball Association standouts and six more amateurs were added to the Gilas Pilipinas men’s pool for the Fiba Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers, the pro league announced on its website Friday afternoon.
Leading the PBA talents is Marc Pingris, a many-time Gilas member. He is joined by 2013 World Cup teammate Japeth Aguilar.
Also making the crop of pros are veteran internationalists Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Kiefer Ravena, Christian Standhardinger, Ray Parks Jr., Poy Erram and Mac Belo. Rookie CJ Perez, who served flag and country for the first time during the World Cup in China last year, rounds out the list of pros.
Kobe Paras, Dave Ildefonso, Justine Baltazar, and brothers tandem in Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño were the amateurs added to the list from which the final roster for the first window of the qualifiers will be selected.
First to be named into the pool were incoming PBA rookies Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, and brothers Matt and Mike Nieto. Thirdy Ravena and Jaydee Tungcab were later added.
Interestingly, five-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo was not on the list as the Philippines is set to play relatively light away games—against Thailand on Feb. 20 and Indonesia three days later.
The 24-man pool was finalized on Thursday afternoon during the board’s meeting at the league’s offices in Libis, Quezon City, according to commissioner Willie Marcial.
In an earlier interview, Al Panlilio, president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, said the federation is looking to name an interim coach for Gilas’ campaign in the regional tournament.
Panlilio, in the same interview, said tapping pros for the 2023 World Cup, which the Philippines is set to host, remains a possibility.
Team Philippines still does not have a coach at the moment, with Tim Cone the last one to call the shots.
Cone, the PBA’s most decorated coach, handled the Filipinos during the last Southeast Asian Games where no country was able to touch Gilas with a 10-foot pole.
Before Cone, Yeng Guiao handled Gilas and resigned after the Fiba World Cup in China.
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