Javee Mocon was curiously the only PBA player left out of the 12-man Gilas Pilipinas squad set to take on Indonesia in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers this Sunday in Jakarta.
The 6-foot-3 forward was invited to be part of the Nationals’ talent pool following the withdrawal of Matthew Wright, who begged off from Gilas this time while he rehabilitates his ankle.
Mocon, though, is among the team’s reserves for its upcoming match, along with Jaydee Tungcab and Rey Suerte.
Coach Mark Dickel said it was a tough decision regarding Mocon, but explained that he and the coaches considered the younger players that also play his position, as preparation for the future.
Those younger ones Dickel referred to were Thirdy Ravena and Ateneo Blue Eagles recruit Dwight Ramos.
“In a few positions we felt like we had covered it with some young players, so they had an advantage thinking towards the future,” Dickel said on Wednesday while he announced the lineup to reporters.
“If you look at someone like Javee Mocon, that was a very difficult decision to make. But we felt like we just had it covered with Thirdy and Dwight there kind of playing the same position.”
Another tough cut Dickel and his deputies had to make was with lengthy guard Allyn Bulanadi.
“I thought he was so good in practices. You know, and once again, that was a hard decision,” he said.
“But we felt we had it covered with Roger [Pogoy] and CJ [Perez] in particular in that spot.”
But as hard as it was, Dickel believes that they were able to build the best possible lineup versus Indonesia.
Besides the aforementioned players, also part of the team are team captain Kiefer Ravena, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram, Abu Tratter, Justin Chua, Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, and Juan Gomez de Liaño.
“We felt that the PBA players that we picked gave us a really, really good base to build off. And then, the other four or five younger players can complement them,” Dickel said.
“So, that was the decision that was made. That’s why we made it, we feel this will give us the best chance in this window to do well.”
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