POC says Gilas keeping FIBA WC core for Asian Games

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

September 5, 2023, 7:37 pm

<p>Gilas Pilipinas team<em> (File photo)</em></p>

Gilas Pilipinas team (File photo)

MANILA – The core of Gilas Pilipinas' FIBA World Cup team will play too in the Asian Games, at least for now.

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) revealed on Tuesday that seven players from Gilas' team in its FIBA World Cup home stand are listed in the Philippine team's entry by names for the Asian Games.

Kiefer Ravena, Scottie Thompson, RR Pogoy, June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, Japeth Aguilar, and Jamie Malonzo are the players listed in Gilas' provisional Asian Games team from the World Cup squad based on the entry by names the POC submitted before the July 25 deadline.

Justin Brownlee, Ange Kouame, Chris Newsome, Calvin Oftana, and Brandon Rosser complete the initial Gilas roster.

“The deadline for the entry by names was last July 25 and whatever list a national Olympic committee submitted is deemed official,” POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said.

He added that because of the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee's lenient rules on player eligibility, in which only a passport is required, they were able to enlist both Brownlee and Kouame, considered naturalized players by FIBA, to the Gilas squad.

Interestingly enough, Ravena, who plays for the Shiga Lakes in the B.League second division, is on the Gilas roster even if his fellow Japan-based stalwarts Dwight Ramos, AJ Edu, and Kai Sotto have already begged off as they are set to return to their mother teams for the B.League top flight buildup.

Also, Brownlee and Rosser might rule themselves out as well owing to their respective injury concerns.

To add, Chot Reyes was listed as the Gilas head coach despite already resigning from the post on Saturday night.

The SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) and Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) already held a meeting regarding the Asian Games and are expected to name Gilas' lineup--including the coach--to Hangzhou on Thursday.

Tolentino, however, said an appeal needs to be raised if both SBP and PBA opt to bring in a different team. (PNA)