Less than three months before the FIBA World Cup and Gilas Pilipinas has officially jumpstarted its preparations, as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas on Tuesday night released the team's 21-man pool for the tournament.
Jordan Clarkson and Justin Brownlee, who are both eyeing the lone naturalized player spot, headline the list.
Kai Sotto, who recently swatted away claims that he declined the call of duty, also made the pool. The 7-foot-3 center, though, is not expected to join the national team, at least this month, as he continues his NBA push in the United States.
Gilas veterans playing in Japan also beefed up the pool, namely Dwight Ramos, Kiefer Ravena, Thirdy Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Jordan Heading, and Carl Tamayo.
Only Rhenz Abando was chosen from the Filipino imports playing in South Korea, while Cyprus-born Filipino big man AJ Edu could make his debut for the Gilas Pilipinas men’s squad.
Aside from Brownlee, Chris Newsome, Calvin Oftana, and CJ Perez—remnants from the 2023 Southeast Asian Games "Redeem Team"—were also included.
Not to be left behind are other national team veterans, including PBA MVP Scottie Thompson, June Mar Fajardo, RR Pogoy, Japeth Aguilar, Jamie Malonzo, and Poy Erram. Pogoy and Fajardo are both nursing injuries.
Rounding up the 21-man list is Ange Kouame, who's another candidate for the naturalized player spot.
Gilas Pilipinas will fly to Europe this month to kickstart a series of training camps and tournaments before the much-anticipated FIBA World Cup.