MANILA – Sixteen players will be included in the training pool of the Gilas Pilipinas team which will be competing at the FIBA-Asia Men’s Championship to be held in China this year.
The players who have been spotted in what was believed to be the first practice session of the national team held last week at the Meralco gym are the ones expected to make the pool.
Aside from Jayson Castro, Dondon Hontiveros, JC Intal, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Asi Taulava and Sonny Thoss, also included in the Gilas Pilipinas roster are Calvin Abueva, Jimmy Alapag, Andray Blatche, Gabe Norwood, Aldrech Ramos and Kelly Williams.
Rain or Shine player Paul Lee is also expected to be included in the national team lineup. Lee’s representative, Lawrence Chongson, however, does not see this happening.
“Sa akin lang, gustong-gusto kong makasama sa national team si Paul. Gusto rin ni Paul kasi bandila natin yan eh… Kaso alangan namang talikuran ni Paul ang gusto ng nasa itaas. Dun siya sumusweldo,” Chongson said.
(If I was to decide, I really want Paul to be included in the national team. Paul wants it as well because it’s our flag… But it’s not like Paul can turn his back from what the top [management] wants. That’s where he gets paid.)
“Sana pala nung nag negosasyon kami nun, naglagay ako ng clause sa kontrata gaya ni LA Tenorio nuong araw sa Alaska na bibigyan siya ng permiso na lumaro sa national team,” he added.
(I should’ve added during the negotiations a clause in his contract like that of LA Tenorio when he still played for Alaska that he would be given permission to play in the national team.)
According to Spin.ph sources, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has supposedly scheduled a meeting with PBA executives as it plans on adding more players to the Gilas Pilipinas pool.
The said sources have also disclosed that head coach Tab Balwin is still lacking a big man and a point guard in his team which will have its second practice on Monday also at the Meralco gym.
SBP President Manny Pangilinan would also have a closed-door meeting with the national team lineup on the same day at the Meralco office.
“Dun natin malalaman lahat if there will be additions and what boss MVP (Pangilinan) will tell these players and the whole team… But basically, halos yan na yun,” a source said.
(It is there where we’d know if there will be additions and what boss MVP will tell these players and the whole team… But basically, that’s all them.)