December 01, 2023

The curious case of 60 and 37: Who made it to the two Gilas Pilipinas Asian Games lists?

The curious case of 60 and 37: Who made it to the two Gilas Pilipinas Asian Games lists?

With a week left before Gilas Pilipinas plays its first game in the Asian Games, its roster remains in a flux, with Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins, Terrence Romeo, and Mo Tautuaa all unlikely to join the team in Hangzhou, China—and Chris Ross, Kevin Alas, Arvin Tolentino, Cjay Perez, and Marcio Lassiter potentially completing the Gilas 12.

And all these machinations, evidently, are due to two lists submitted to the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC). In both lists, supposedly, were the names of the players who could be called upon by the Gilas coaching staff to make up the final Asian Games roster.

Curiously, one list contained 60 names. The other had 37. The latter being the newer, more updated list. 

The 37-man list, essentially a pruned-out version of the more expansive 60-player pool, includes FIBA World Cup veterans Jordan Clarkson, Dwight Ramos, AJ Edu, Rhenz Abando, Kiefer Ravena, Japeth Aguilar, Jamie Malonzo, Cjay Perez, June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, and RR Pogoy, as well as reserves Calvin Oftana and Chris Newsome and naturalized players Ange Kouame and Justin Brownlee.

Also included in the 37-player pool are Japan B.League and KBL exports Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Carl Tamayo, RJ Abarrientos, Thirdy Ravena, Juan Gomez de Liaño, Jordan Heading, and SJ Belangel; collegiate standouts Jerom Lastimosa, Michael Phillips, Ben Phillips, Mason Amos, and Kevin Quiambao; and Kevin Alas, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, Arvin Tolentino, and Aaron Black.

Rounding out this list are Jeremiah Gray, Poy Erram, and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, who are all recovering from a knee injury; incoming PBA rookie Schonny Winston; and Christian Standhardinger, who retired from national team duties earlier this year.

Gilas team manager for Asiad Alfranchis Chua said on Tuesday's press conference that only six names in the 37-player list are available for call-up (excluding the others who are already in the roster). Not counting the injured players, overseas imports, and collegiate players who won't be available, those six seem to be Ross, Perez, Alas, Tolentino, Lassiter, and Black. If you count Winston, who recently just got drafted into the PBA, that's seven.   

Of the names in the 37-man list, 35 are also in the 60-player pool, with only Tamayo and de Liaño making the shortlist despite not being on the other.

Curiously, the bigger list includes Romeo and Tautaa, two players whose eligibility for the Asian Games are in peril. Joining them in that list are familiar names from the PBA, like Mike and Matt Nieto, Stanley Pringle, Joshua Munzon, Raymond Almazan, Chris Banchero, Sean Anthony, Mikey Williams, Jerrick Ahanmisi, Mark Barroca, and Abu Tratter.

Ateneo Blue Eagles Chris Koon, Kai Balunggay, John Gomez, and Gio Chiu are also on the 60-man list, along with Fil-foreigner prospects Remy Martin, Dan Panopio, and Alex Konov. Kai Sotto and former Gilas naturalized player Andray Blatch are also on the list, as are Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Onyeka Okongwu, who were listed as being “for naturalization.”