Gilas Pilipinas to stick with bubble roster for Olympic qualifiers
MANILA, Philippines—Gilas Pilipinas’ roster will remain largely the same heading into the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia.
The roster that played in the third window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers will represent the Philippines in the OQT, but Javi Gomez de Liaño and Jaydee Tungcab won’t be with the team.
“Only players who played in Clark will be part of the Serbia roster,” said Ryan Gregorio, the special assistant to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president, Wednesday.
That means former captain Rey Suerte, Matt Nieto, and Dave ildefonso will miss the Serbia tournament after they couldn’t join the team in Clark after suffering injuries in training. Thirdy Ravena, Juan Gomez de Liaño, Kobe Paras, and Allyn Bulanadi are also out of the OQT.
“After careful deliberation done by the coaching staff, they have decided to go for a taller line-up with emphasis on frontline height and length to compete against bigger teams outside of Asia,” said Gregorio of the decision to leave off the 6-foot-4 Tungcab.
“It is a function of the scouting report. With Dominican Republic and Serbia expected to utilize tall players, our coaches believe that it is a great opportunity for our big men to get valuable experience competing against quality big men from Europe.”
Gilas will fly for the OQT on Thursday.
De Liaño, meanwhile, suffered an injury in his quad muscles in practice during the Clark bubble and was advised to rest.
“He had a spectacular window in Manama where he averaged 14.0 points and 2.5 rebounds when he was healthy,” said Gregorio of de Liaño. “He will miss the OQT tournament in Serbia and was advised to rest and rehabilitate his injured quad muscles.”
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