The trio that ended the Philippines’ 40-year FIBA Under-19 World Cup drought are set to return for Gilas Pilipinas Youth.
The twin tower combination of Kai Sotto and AJ Edu, as well as Dalph Panopio, headlines the 14-man pool of the Philippines for the upcoming global meet in Heraklion, Greece from June 29 to July 7.
Edu, a 6-foot-10 Filipino-Nigerian who is currently a student-athlete in University of Toledo, arrived in the country last Tuesday and began his first practice last night.
On the other hand, Sotto is set to arrive Friday evening and will join the sessions immediately.
Panopio though will only join the team during its pocket tournament in Doha later this month. The floor general just turned pro recently, playing for the Roseto Sharks.
Other key returnees that played during the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asia Cup are Dave Ildefonso, Migs Oczon, Rhayyan Amsali, Gerry Abadiano, Xyrus Torres, Joshua Ramirez, Bismarck Lina, and Geo Chiu.
After missing out on the U18 Asia Cup, Terrence Fortea will make his return to the youth team, according to Yo Sarmenta of ESPN5.
James Spencer is the new face on the team while Carl Tamayo will replace the recovering Raven Cortez.
The final 12 will be named after Gilas Youth’s Doha meet.
The team coached by Sandy Arespacochaga is grouped with host Greece, Argentina, and Russia in a tough Pool C.
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