Because yes, it takes a village to enter the FIBA World Cup.
For the third straight time, the Philippines is set to play in the FIBA World Cup.
The path to this year's tournament was interesting to say the least. Because the Philippines got the co-hosting rights, Gilas Pilipinas secured an automatic spot in the FIBA World Cup.
That didn't mean though that Gilas just coasted in the Asian Qualifiers. No, the national cagers still braved through 10 games and treated them as if their lives depended on it. Here are the 36 players who answered the call and donned the Gilas Pilipinas uniform in order of number of games played.
Only Dwight Ramos completed all games in the Asian Qualifiers despite his busy schedule in the Japan B.League. The guard-forward has always been a steady presence for Gilas, averaging 12.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists.
Enter Scottie Thompson, Kiefer Ravena, Jamie Malonzo, and Ray Parks Jr. See the pattern there? All of them have been available for Gilas and were part of the final pool for the FIBA World Cup. Except for Parks, they were all selected in the final lineup.
Thirdy Ravena and Calvin Oftana played five games in the Asian Qualifiers and had the rare chance to suit up with Jordan Clarkson. While the two were among the final cuts for the FIBA World Cup lineup, nobody can question their commitment and constant readiness to help the national team.
Big guns like Kai Sotto, Japeth Aguilar, Ange Kouame, Cjay Perez, Poy Erram, Will Navarro, and RR Pogoy also made time for the national team.
Sotto in particular proved in the Asian Qualifiers why he should be a staple member of any Gilas roster.
Young bigs Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao proved in their limited time with Gilas that they can hang with the big boys.
Tamayo, who was initially invited to the FIBA World Cup camp but backed out due to injury, turned heads with his 16-point performance against New Zealand.
Out of the 36 players who participated in the Asian Qualifiers, 16 are here.
This elite group includes an NBA star, a fan-favorite naturalized player, Gilas veterans, and promising newcomers. They are Clarkson, Justin Brownlee, June Mar Fajardo, Robert Bolick, Chris Newsome, Kelly Williams, Troy Rosario, Rhenz Abando, RJ Abarrientos, SJ Belangel, Jordan Heading, Kib Montalbo, Juan Gomez de Liaño, Mason Amos, Geo Chiu, and Francis Lopez.
The one-and-dones were Roosevelt Adams, Tzady Rangel, Shaun Ildefonso, and Jaydee Tungcab. They are expected to have more time with Gilas as their respective careers grow further.