Japan B.League stars set to join Gilas Pilipinas for November Fiba games
MANILA, Philippines — Japan B.League stars Dwight Ramos, Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, and Bobby Ray Parks Jr. will be released on Friday by their respective club teams to join Gilas Pilipinas ahead of the fifth window Fiba World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers in November.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Wednesday announced that the four Gilas mainstays from Japan are set to join the national team’s build-up for its back-to-back away games against Jordan on November 10 and Saudi Arabia on November 13.
Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said they still don’t know the arrival date of Parks, Ramos, and the Ravena brothers.
“I’m not sure. We don’t know the arrival yet of our B.League players,” said Reyes. “We’re planning, hopefully, three days – October 31, November 1 and 2, but we’re not sure.”
The SBP is also looking to tap the services of Kai Sotto, who is currently in Australia playing his second season with the Adelaide 36ers in the National Basketball League, but has yet to issue confirmation.
The 7-foot-3 center, though, shared Fiba World Cup’s post on his Instagram story about him being reportedly available in the fifth window with the caption “Let’s get it!!”
Sotto and the B.League stars played in the fourth window with NBA guard Jordan Clarkson splitting two matches, yielding to Lebanon last August 26 before dominating Saudi Arabia at home on August 29.
“FIBA has a directive to all the leagues around the world that players cannot be prevented from playing for their national teams. Hopefully, we can get Kai (Sotto). Just like in Japan, we know that on a certain date, I think until the 28th of this month, and then Dwight Ramos, Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, and Ray Parks, they’ll be available by then and we’re hoping the same for Kai,” said Reyes.
The federation is also looking to bring back naturalized center Ange Kouame of Ateneo with the UAAP taking a break from November 6 to 16, while the PBA is scheduled for a long break, playing its last game of the month on Oct. 30 and returning on Nov. 4 before the team leaves on Nov. 7.
On Monday, Gilas resumed its practice with 10 players participating in the weekly session.
Reigning PBA MVP Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar and Jamie Malonzo, Roger Pogoy, Calvin Oftana, Poy Erram of TNT, and Arvin Tolentino attended as well as Chris Newsome, who returned after being sidelined for several weeks due to a contusion on his calf. La Salle rookie Kevin Quiambao and Francis Lopez are also in attendance.
Naturalized player candidate Justin Brownlee was advised to rest as he has been under the weather, while Kouame had school commitments.
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