Justin Brownlee leads Gilas Pilipinas roster for last Fiba qualifying window
MANILA, Philippines–Gilas Pilipinas leans on familiarity and cohesion when it takes on streaking Lebanon this Friday in the sixth and final window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Naturalized player Justin Brownlee–to no one’s surprise–banners a cast that, according to a list obtained by the Inquirer on Thursday, will feature mostly fixtures of the national basketball program.
Six-time Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo will man the front court and will be joined by Ateneo commit Mason Amos, who is set to make his men’s team debut.
Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana, Ray Parks Jr., Dwight Ramos, brothers Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, and reigning PBA MVP Scottie Thompson are set to reprise their roles in the grudge match set 6 p.m. at the massive Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
The guests are also going into the clash without its foremost weapon Wael Arajki.
CJ Perez, a World Cup veteran like Fajardo and the older Ravena, is also backstopping Gilas.
Rounding out Chot Reyes’ crew is Filipino-Australian Jordan Heading, a dead-eye shooter who is set to play his first game back with Gilas Pilipinas following a contract dispute.
The Philippines is currently 5-3 in Group E players and is looking to extend its three-game winning streak against the Cedars, who are also enjoying a tear of their own (seven games).
Both teams are already qualified for the global showcase set here in August.