Troy Rosario, RR Pogoy and Robert Bolick are World Cup veterans bannering the Gilas cast that tangles with India and New Zealand in the opening window of the 2023 FIBA WC Asian qualifying games that begins Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Kelly Williams, Gab Banal, Poy Erram and Kib Montalbo are four other PBA players rendering duty in this qualifying phase where Gilas’ load eased off significantly on the withdrawal of South Korea in the 11th hour.
With the two Philippine-Korea matches scrapped, coach Chot Reyes and the Nationals are instead kicking off their campaign versus India at 6 p.m. Friday.
Naturalized player Ange Kouame, Thirdy Ravena, Dwight Ramos, Juan Gomez de Lia?o, Lebron Lopez, Will Navarro, Jaydee Tungcab and Tzaddy Rangel are the Gilas cadets in the 15-man cast also scheduled to play New Zealand at 6 p.m. Sunday.
“We’re keeping the preparation up and our minds on the task at hand. That’s just as important. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing,” said Reyes.
“Remember, we’re building for 2023, we’re not building for this window alone. We’re building for the long haul so you’ve got to make sure that you can continue to discipline your minds and especially your emotions,” added Reyes, brushing aside the cancelled Philippine-Korea games.
South Korea pulled out at the last minute due to COVID-19 issues faced by the team prior to its departure for the Philippines.