Eleven pro players and six more amateurs were added to the Gilas Pilipinas men’s pool for the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers, the Philippine Basketball Association announced on its website Friday afternoon.
Leading the PBA talents is Marc Pingris, a many-time Gilas member. He is joined by 2013 World Cup teammate Japeth Aguilar.
Also making the crop of pros are Gilas old reliables Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Kiefer Ravena, Christian Standhardinger, Ray Parks Jr., Poy Erram, Mac Belo and rookie CJ Perez, who served during the World Cup in China.
Kobe Paras, Dave Ildefonso, Justine Baltazar, and brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño were the latest youngsters to be added into the list from which the final roster for the first window of the qualifiers will be selected.
First to be named into the pool were incoming PBA rookies Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, and brothers Matt and Mike Nieto. Thirdy Ravena and Jaydee were later additions.
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Interestingly, five-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo was not on the list.
The 24-man pool was finalized Thursday afternoon during the PBA Board’s meeting in its office in Libis, Quezon City, according to Commissioner Willie Marcial.
In an earlier interview, Al Panlilio, president of the Samahang Baksetbol ng Pilipinas, said the federation is looking to name an interim coach for Gilas’ campaign in the regional tournament which unfolds next month.
The Philippines is set to play two road games in February: Against Thailand on the 20th, and then versus Indonesia on the 23rd.
Panlilio, in the same interview, said tapping pros for the 2023 World Cup, which the Philippines is set to host, remains a possibility.
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