July 22, 2024

SBP takes firm stance on naming Gilas Pilipinas’ final 12 for FIBA World Cup

SBP takes firm stance on naming Gilas Pilipinas’ final 12 for FIBA World Cup
FIBA

With just 10 days left before the start of the FIBA World Cup, many fans are wondering when the final 12 of Gilas Pilipinas will be announced.

Well, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio has made it clear that the team will likely announce their roster by August 23—two days before their opening match. It's also the same day that FIBA set as the official deadline to receive the lineups. 

Panlilio added that Gilas’ upcoming tune-up games against Ivory Coast, Montenegro, and Mexico will help the coaching staff decide on who will be part of the all-important tournament.

“We haven’t put anything on the team. I think the next three friendlies will solidify maybe who the final 12 would be,” Panlilio said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday.

“It’s very hard to cut four names in that very excellent pool,” he added.

From 21 names, Gilas' FIBA World Cup pool is now down to 16 after injuries, opt-outs, and limited naturalization slots, of course.

The expanded roster currently includes big men June Mar Fajardo, Kai Sotto, Japeth Aguilar, and AJ Edu, alongside versatile wings in Dwight Ramos, Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana, and Rhenz Abando. 

Guards are aplenty for Gilas, led by Jordan Clarkson and Scottie Thompson. Bobby Ray Parks Jr, Cjay Perez, brothers Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Chris Newsome, and RR Pogoy complete the pool. 

SBP, undertandably, is keen on taking their time to make their final decision. Even coach Chot Reyes has previously said that they are in no rush to name the final 12.

“It’s very hard for the coaches to decide on that, so I think they’ll come out as soon as they’re ready, but our deadline talaga is the 23rd [of August],” said Panlilio.

And with both Kai Sotto and Scottie Thompson getting into healthier status, deciding the official roster will be an even harder task for the coaches.

Gilas will open their FIBA World Cup campaign on August 25 as they face the Dominican Republic at the Philippine Arena.

(GM)

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