Kai Sotto, Dwight Ramos and Jordan Clarkson

MANILA – Roosevelt Adams will sit out Gilas' early Friday (Philippine time) showdown against Lebanon in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers as he has been cut from the final roster.

As announced by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Thursday, Coach Chot Reyes chose Jamie Malonzo, Chris Newsome, Japeth Aguilar, Calvin Oftana, Scottie Thompson, Jordan Clarkson, Kiefer Ravena, Thirdy Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks, Carl Tamayo, Dwight Ramos, and Kai Sotto to play for Gilas in an anticipated battle against Lebanon, the surprise runner-up in the recent FIBA Asia Cup.

"Our Gilas Pilipinas Men's National Basketball Team is raring to go all out for flag and country,” said SBP Executive Director and spokesman Sonny Barrios. "Each one, to the last man, is fully committed to giving his very best, inspired by the support and prayers of his countrymen. Let us continue to wish them well and cheer them on as they play for all of us away from home."

Expected to lead the charge for Gilas are Sotto and Clarkson, the two latest additions to the senior team's roster on the road to the FIBA World Cup that the Philippines will co-host with Japan and Indonesia next year.

Assistant Coach Tim Cone, who handled the Gilas training on Monday before the team's departure for Beirut, was satisfied with how the two internationally based players fared during practices despite their short time there.

“Kai has been very, very impressive. At this level, he’s a real deal. Having Kai protecting the rim for us, it’s making a big, big difference,” Cone said of the seven-foot-three Sotto.

Meanwhile, he said Clarkson transitioned beautifully to Reyes' dribble-drive system as his NBA team, the Utah Jazz, is running a similar style of play.

“JC knows the offense already. He runs dribble-drive in Utah, he’s done it before. He’s very comfortable with it so I don’t think that’s going to be an issue for us. He already understands the principles, so he’s stepping in really easy,” Cone said.

Meanwhile, SBP president Al Panlilio said the final roster is the best available combination for Gilas to avenge its 80-95 defeat to Lebanon during the FIBA Asia Cup group stages.

"I think it's still the best 12 among the 13. I'm hopeful with the team," Panlilio said during the press conference for the FIBA World Cup at the TV5 Media Center in Mandaluyong.

For him, he sees the Adams cut as part of the learning process for him to understand further Reyes' system.

"Roosevelt is also there to gain experience, for the coaches to see him, and how he can play with the team," Panlilio said.

Wael Arakji will lead the Lebanese squad, which also consists of Jonathan Arledge, Elie Chamoun, Karim Ezzedine, Hayk Gyokchyan, Gerard Hadidian, Ali Haidar, Yousef Khayat, Ali Mansour, Ali Mezher, Amir Saoud, and Karim Zeinoun. (PNA)