Six players from the 2017 Southeast Asian Games squad will make their return to Gilas Pilipinas Women for the Philippine-edition of the tournament.
Headlining the 16-woman pool are Afril Bernardino, Jack Animam, Janine Pontejos, Clare Castro, Chack Cabinbin, and Andrea Tongco.
The six were part of the 2017 squad that barely missed the podium.
Danica Jose, who was part of the 2015 team, is also part of the pool.
Joining them in their quest to end the country’s six-year medal drought in the regional meet are the country’s top young guns.
Kelli Hayes, Khate Castillo, Gemma Miranda, Snow Penaranda, Bea Daez, Eunique Chan, Camille Claro, and Tina Deacon complete the pool.
Head coach Patrick Aquino also added a 16th player — University of Utah standout Sarah Porter — to the pool in hope that her school will allow her to join the national team come November.
“I think it’s our best pool that we can have,” said Aquino. “They are eager and hungry to prove themselves. I think we have more exposure and experience now going into the games.
“Then again, we want to play our best in front of our countrymen.”