Abueva, Romeo, Tuatuaa, Perkins still practicing with Gilas while waiting for HAGOC decision

Despite staring at the possibility of being declared ineligible for the Asian Games, Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins, and Mo Tautuaa have remained at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna to continue training with Gilas Pilipinas for the upcoming regional meet.

National team coach Tim Cone announced in a hastily assembled press conference that Chris Ross, Kevin Alas, Arvin Tolentino, and CJ Perez have been called up as replacements for the four players in case HAGOC formally denies SBP’s request to include them in the final roster.

Cone bared that they are still waiting for official word from the organizing committee with regards to the status of Romeo, Abueva, Perkins, and Tautuaa as well as that of Ross, Alas, Tolentino, and Perez. An answer is expected within the next 24 to 48 hours.

“From what I understand, we are still finding avenues to try to get them in. The word we’ve gotten just immediately is probably they won’t be available. But we are still looking for different avenues. They are still up at Inspire and practicing with us until we get that final, final word. We haven’t got that final, final word yet, in our minds anyway,” said Cone.

Abueva and Perkins were not included in the original 60-player list given to the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee while Romeo and Tautuaa’s names were actually listed. However, a revised list of 37 players was purportedly submitted to the organizers, with the names of the two San Miguel players now missing, prompting Cone and Gilas team manager Alfrancis Chua to scramble for new players to include on the roster.

Chua stated that bringing Ross, Alas, Tolentino, and Perez is their “Plan B” in the event that Romeo, Abueva, Perkins, and Tautuaa are formally disqualified from the Gilas squad.

“What we did was pinarating namin ‘yung apat (Ross, Alas, Tolentino, Perez). ‘Yung walong ‘yun, parehong hindi sure ‘yun kasi ‘yung apat (Romeo, Abueva, Perkins, Tautuaa, hindi sure kung papaalisin sila papuntang China or hindi sila kasama sa line-up. ‘Yung apat (Ross, Alas, Tolentino, Perez) naman ang susunod. ‘Yung sitwasyon naman nitong apat na dumating, pag pinayagan ng China ‘to, sila namang apat (Romeo, Abueva, Perkins, Tautuaa) na mawawala,” explained the former Brgy. Ginebra mentor.

“Kaya ‘yung sakrispisyo nung walong ‘yun, medyo malalim lalo na ‘yung apat na nauna kasi grabe na ‘yung ensayo,” he added.

Roger Pogoy, meanwhile, has begged off from the squad due to health issues and will be replaced by Marcio Lassiter.

Stanley Pringle, who was supposed to take the place of Abueva or Perkins, has also been ruled out as he is not in the 37-man list.

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