PH Asian Games roster released, but change likely for national squads
The rosters of national teams for women’s football, men’s basketball and men’s volleyball to the Asian Games were released on Tuesday, but changes to the names listed are likely to be made.
The list was submitted by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) last July 25 primarily to satisfy a deadline set by the organizing committee of the event that will be held in Hangzhou, China. World Cup standouts Sarina Bolden, Olivia McDaniel and Hali Long headline the women’s national football team.
Nineteen players from that historic squad made the initial Asian Games cut. POC president Bambol Tolentino said any changes “would have to be appealed to the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee.”
For men’s basketball, seven holdovers from the Gilas Pilipinas 2023 Fiba World Cup roster are going to see action in the 12th staging of the continental Olympics later this month.
Kiefer Ravena, Scottie Thompson, RR Pogoy, June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, Japeth Aguilar, Jamie Malonzo are set to reprise their roles and backstop naturalized ace Justin Brownlee in the campaign at Hangzhou.
“The deadline for the Entry by Names was last July 25 and whatever list a national Olympic committee submitted is deemed official,” the POC said in a statement released to the press on Tuesday.
The PBA, however, is reportedly set to announce the Asian Games team on Thursday and many expect the squad to be made up of standouts from the pro league.
More importantly, the POC lists Chot Reyes as head coach of Gilas Pilipinas and Tim Cone as his assistant.
Meanwhile, Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas lead the 12-man roster of the Philippine men’s volleyball team, which will be competing in the Asiad for the first time in 49 years.
The hard-hitting pair will banner the squad under Brazilian coach Sergio Veloso as they were slotted in Group F with Southeast Asian Games champion Indonesia, Volleyball Nations League bronze medalist Japan, and Afghanistan during the draw of the 19 squads last July.
Bagunas told the Inquirer that he has committed to playing in the Asian Games, but sources said the team is also likely to differ from the one released by the POC.
Bagunas is the reigning MVP of Taiwan’s Top Volleyball League after steering the Win Streak club to a championship, while Espejo will be the Incheon Korean Air Jumbos’ first Asian import in the upcoming Korean V-League.
The other members of the men’s basketball squad are Ange Kouame and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, along with Chris Newsome and Calvin Oftana—the final cuts from the Gilas squad that finished 24th overall in the ongoing World Cup.In the 2018 Asiad, the national federation and the PBA sent a team made up of Rain or Shine’s core reinforced by a young Jordan Clarkson.