Gilas Pilipinas Men’s team head coach Yeng Guiao has extended an invitation to PBA rookies CJ Perez of Columbian and Robert Bolick of NorthPort to join the training pool of the national basketball squad as it prepares for the 2019 FIBA World Cup which will take place in China from August 31 to September 15.
Guiao shared the development to reporters shortly after the NLEX vs Brgy. Ginebra game, Sunday night at the Batangas City Coliseum.
“Sa pagkaka-alam ko nag-indicate na darating si Bolick saka si CJ,” said Guiao. “Sa akin kasi, looking forward to the future. Although we will just be twelve doon sa regular lineup, I think we will need one or two as backup kung sakaling may mangyaring injuries.”
The 60-year old former Congressman of Pampanga stressed the need for additional bodies to serve as insurance just in case any untoward incident arises.
“That’s exactly what happened to Raymond (Almazan) nung huli, nung na-injure nung practice namin sa Astana. Those things can happen.”
While the initial purpose is to serve as warm bodies during practices, Guiao did not rule out the possibility of the two latest additions eventually cracking the final line-up.
“Of course, I do not discount that they could break into the lineup. And if we’re really sending pros into the SEA Games, they would be good candidates to get their international experience going.”
“If we start them early, that’s going to give guys like Paul Lee and Mark Barroca a break should they want to take one come SEA Games. After all, I think we’re competitive with these group of guys.”