Gilas could field new roster vs Saudi Arabia, says SBP
MANILA, Philippines-The Philippines may field an entirely different squad when it hosts Saudi Arabia this Monday for the Nationals’ second game in the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
‘They can get from the (pool of) 24 players, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director, and president Sonny Barrios told reporters on Saturday night, shortly after the unveiling of the 2023 World Cup Countdown Clock at Mall of Asia Music Hall in Pasay City.
“But that will depend on the final say of the coaching staff,” he said.
The Philippines plays Saudi Arabia on Monday, 7 p.m., at Mall of Asia Arena.
Gilas fielded an athletic and tall crew built around Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson when it played Lebanon on Friday in Beirut.
The crew featured a number of standouts from the Philippine Basketball Association: Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome, Calvin Oftana, and Jamie Malonzo.
Joining the selection were overseas campaigners Kai Sotto, Ray Parks Jr. brothers Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, cornerstone Dwight Ramos, and State U standout Carl Tamayo.
Roosevelt Adams, formerly of the Terrafirma Dyip, was national coach Chot Reyes’ final cut ahead of the clash against the Cedars, which resulted in an 85-81 loss.
Also in the preliminary 24-man talent pool are PBA stars Ian Sangalang, Allein Maliksi, Robert Bolick, Jio Jalalon, Kevin Alas, Arvin Tolentino, Raymond Almazan. and varsity standout Kevin Quiambao.
Almazan, according to assistant coach Tim Cone, would’ve made the Final 12 against Lebanon.
“Raymond was super excited to join but had to beg off due to family issues regarding the health of his son,” Cone wrote on Twitter earlier this week.
The Philippines, already qualified for the global showcase, can actually afford to pilot another cast around Clarkson.
The cage leaders have since labeled this phase of the buildup as an “evaluation phase” geared towards the showpiece here next year.