April 14, 2024

Ready for battle: Gilas Pilipinas' final 12-man squad for FIBA World Cup

Ready for battle: Gilas Pilipinas
FIBA

The long wait is over for fans as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) officially released the final roster of Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA World Cup.

Headlining the final 12 are naturalized player Jordan Clarkson, do-it-all point guard Scottie Thompson, and national team veterans June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilarwho will serve as team captain.

Dwight Ramos, Jamie Malonzo, Rhenz Abando, and RR Pogoy make up the team's wing rotation. 

Young and promising big men AJ Edu and Kai Sotto also made the squad. 

Guards Kiefer Ravena and Cjay Perez round out the lineup.  

This means that Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Thirdy Ravena, Calvin Oftana, and Chris Newsome were the last cuts from the national team pool, which originally stood at 21 before getting trimmed to 16, and now, 12.

Parks and the younger Ravena did not join the team's final three tune-up games, while Oftana only played against Montenegro. Newsome played limited minutes.

Gilas' last open practice on Tuesday also saw only 13 members present in what seemed a precursor of coach Chot Reyes' and SBP's final roster decision.

The national team will now continue to prepare for its FIBA World Cup opener against Dominican Republic, which will be led by Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, on Friday, August 25, at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

Afterward, Gilas is scheduled to compete against Angola on Sunday, August 27. The team will conclude its group stage by facing Italy, the 10th-ranked team in the world, on Tuesday, August 29. Both games will be held at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

(GM, CF)