The much-anticipated national team debut of TNT super rookie Mikey Williams will have to wait.
Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes said that the coaching staff settled for Moala Tautuaa over other naturalized players including Williams as SEA Games organizers have limited teams to only one each.
During the 2019 edition of the games which was held in the country, Gilas was able to field Christian Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle as well as Chris Ross and even Greg Slaughter. It will, however, be a totally different case for Hanoi.
With Angelo Kouame unavailable for the biennial meet due to his commitment with Ateneo de Manila in UAAP Season 84, the Gilas coaching staff went for size over scoring ability to make up for the absence of the 6-foot-10 Fil-Ivorian.
“We can only bring one naturalized player and we felt that we needed size because we have reports of the other countries having big naturalized players,” explained Reyes.
“We thought that it will be best for us to tap Mo Tautuaa instead,” he added.
Reyes in now looking forward to coaching the 6-foot-8 Fil-Tongan.
“First time for me to coach Mo Tautuaa, I thought that was important. All the rest, just coming together and playing the international game again.”