Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes just announced through his Instagram account the 12 players that will suit up for the country’s national basketball team in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup which will be held in Lebanon on August 8 to 20, 2017.
Conspicuously absent from the list is naturalized player Andray Blatche. The 30-year old native of Syracuse, New York has been replaced by Fil-German Christian Standhardinger who turned in an impressive performance in the recently concluded 39th William Jones Cup. Blatche was earlier reported to having second thoughts on joining the team due to security concerns.
Leading the Philippine team in the Lebanon joust is returnee Gabe Norwood. The athletic Rain or Shine wingman was recently recalled to active duty by Reyes to serve as the veteran anchor of the team together TNT’s Jayson Castro.
Japeth Aguilar, June Mar Fajardo, Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan comprise the core group with Gilas cadets RR Pogoy, Jio Jalalon, Carl Bryan Cruz and Matthew Wright completing the cast.
The Philippines takes on heavyweight China on August 9, followed by Iraq on August 11 before wrapping up the Group phase matches against Qatar on August 13. – Mae Villarin