In an announcement made by SMART Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes through the Kuwentong Gilas Facebook page, he named the final line-up for the Philippines that will take on Japan on Friday, November 24, in Tokyo.
“Basically, we took account the team that we’re playing tomorrow and we also took account of our health and injury situation,” Reyes said during the Facebook live session.
Headlining the cast are key returnees Jayson Castro, June Mar Fajardo, Andray Blatche, Gabe Norwood, and Japeth Aguilar. The troika of Calvin Abueva, Allein Maliksi, and Troy Rosario have also been reinstated.
Joining them are young guns, headlined by Kiefer Ravena. Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, and Kevin Alas complete the roster for the first road game of the Philippines in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Though they did not make the cut, still part of the delegation are Carl Cruz, Mac Belo, and Raymond Almazan. Almazan flew with the team despite being injured, as he suffered a sprained right ankle during the team’s session last Sunday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
“We decided to sit out Carl [Cruz], Mac [Belo], and Raymund [Almazan] for tomorrow’s game,” said Reyes.
Still, all 15 pool members will be in consideration for SMART Gilas’ home game against Chinese-Taipei on Monday, November 27, at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
“This is just the 12-man roster for tomorrow’s game. For Taiwan, it would be different. Every game could change,” the veteran tactician noted.
Terrence Romeo did not fly out to Japan, as he is still rehabilitating his right knee injury.
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