December 02, 2023

Tim Cone reveals critical update on eligibility of Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins for Asian Games

Tim Cone reveals critical update on eligibility of Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins for Asian Games

The waiting game continues for Gilas Pilipinas on the eligibility of Jason Perkins and Calvin Abueva in the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Gilas coach Tim Cone admitted that the team has yet to receive any information on whether the two PBA stars will be allowed to play in the tournament, as their names were not included in the initial list originally sent by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to the organizing committee of the quadrennial showpiece a few months ago.

“We have not heard any word yet. It's still between the POC and the China organizing committee,” Cone said in an interview with One News PH’s The Big Story. “We understand the odds are pretty good in our favor, but there's nothing guaranteed at this point.”

Abueva is set to make his long-awaited return to Gilas, while Perkins will also be a key piece in Gilas’ gold medal hopes in the Asiad.

Cone said that he picked the two forwards for a reason.

“They fill out very, very important roles for us,” said Cone. “They're gonna allow us to play Justin [Brownlee] in different positions if they can get into the lineup, and that's a position that we don't have otherwise.”

Indeed, Perkins and Abueva will be crucial in helping Gilas achieve its goal of bringing home the gold or at least a medal.

However, should the Asian Games committee decide not to allow the two in the lineup, Gilas will definitely be lacking in depth as compared to their supposed current final 12. And that would be a huge problem, according to Cone.

“We're strong in guards, we're strong in bigs, but the medium guys, the in-between guys like Perk and Calvin are guys we lack on the team,” said Cone.

Gilas fans will be hoping that Abueva and Perkins can see action in what is expected to be an exciting Asian Games men’s basketball tournament.

The national team's first game in the Asiad is on September 26 against Bahrain. So, hopefully, the lineup situation can get resolved as early as possible.