After the first practice of Gilas Pilipinas in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, head coach Chot Reyes went to social media platform Twitter to announce the pool for the first window of the tournament.
Jayson,Pogs,Matt,Allein,Gabe, Calvin,CBC,Mac,Troy, Mond, Jap, JMF practiced today. Jio came but is out (LCL).TR & KR still OOT. AB on d 12th
— Chot Reyes (@coachot) November 3, 2017
The 13 players that attended the practice are part of the pool, namely June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Troy Rosario, Raymond Almazan, Allein Maliksi, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Carl Cruz, Mac Belo, and Jiovani Jalalon. Jalalon will be out however due to a Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) injury.
Also part of the pool but not in attendance due to being out of town are Terrence Romero and Kiefer Ravena.
Leaving no stones unturned, the team decided to bring back naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche for this window. The 31-year-old stretch big man last played for the Philippines back in the 2017 SEABA Championship. He is set to arrive on Sunday, November 12.
According to the list submitted by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to FIBA, there are eight more players included in the roster. Baser Amer, Kevin Alas, LA Revilla, Russel Escoto, Kevin Ferrer, Von Pessumal, and Mike Tolomia complete the 23-man pool.
Gilas will open its campaign against Japan on November 24 in Tokyo. The Men’s National Basketball Team will then host Chinese-Taipei on November 27 at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
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