The Philippine Olympic Committee’s petition to include the four original Gilas Pilipinas players has been “officially denied,” according to the POC.
Due to technicalities, Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins, and Mo Tautuaa were found ineligible a day before the national team is scheduled to depart for Hangzhou, China for the 19th Asian Games.
The four players were not included in a list of 37 players given to the Organizing Committee of the Hangzhou Asian Games.
POC president Bambol Tolentino said in an interview aired on One PH’s Power and Play on Saturday that the appeal has been officially denied.
Tolentino, however, reiterated that they will continue to lobby for the players’ inclusion.
“Yes [it has been officially declined.] That is why, even if they decline it 1,000 times, I will appeal 1,000 times more,” he said in Tagalog.
“Even if they reject us 1,000 times, I will push for 1,000 times more. I do not care if they reject and reject, I will appeal, until the games have not officially started,” he added.
Four players were called up to replace Romeo and company: Chris Ross, Kevin Alas, CJ Perez and Arvin Tolentino.
According to the POC president, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas may have been too preoccupied during the FIBA World Cup, which resulted in insufficient preparation for the quadrennial multi-sport meet.
“I’ll be frank. Maybe they were too busy during the World Cup. I have told them, not only in basketball, that the Asian Games is the Olympic of Asia. We cannot belittle the Asian Games,” said Tolentino.
“So we need to send the best. We have notices, deadlines, long lists and we repeatedly tell them. But, you know, as Filipinos, it was last minute,” he added.