File photo of Gilas Pilipinas 3.0
April 30, 2016
Countdown to Manila OQT: 67 days
Gilas Pilipinas has named its 24-man pool for the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila this July, according to a report by PhilStar’s Quinito Henson.
Naturalized big man Andray Blatche, who is expected to arrive this May to join Gilas practice, headlines the pool along with seven players from the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship roster: Ranidel de Ocampo, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, Marc Pingris, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, and Gabe Norwood.
Five more from the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup roster are also in the pool: Paul Lee, Jeff Chan, LA Tenorio, June Mar Fajardo, and Japeth Aguilar.
Greg Slaughter and Marcio Lassiter, two players from Rajko Toroman’s original Gilas Pilipinas squad are also in the pool, along with three more pros Ryan Reyes, Troy Rosario, and Mo Tautuaa.
When asked for a comment, National Team head coach Tab Baldwin said that the list came from Butch Antonio. “If it came from Butch Antonio then it must be true,” he said.
Completing the cast are six members of the Gilas cadets: Ray Parks, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Ferrer, Mac Belo, Roger Pogoy, and Russell Escoto.
The Philippines will have until May 4 to submit the 24-man pool to FIBA. The final 12 shall be selected from the players in the initial pool around the last week of June.
The Philippines will open its bid for an Olympic spot on July 5 against France, followed by a battle against New Zealand on July 6.