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Chot on Gilas players' availability: 'We're waiting'

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 6 days ago Nelson Beltran

TAIPEI – Less than a month to the start of the FIBA Asia Cup, national coach Chot Reyes is still uncertain who are the players who will be available for the Asian premier showpiece set Aug. 8-20 in Lebanon.

"We're waiting," said Reyes, obviously referring to the nod of PBA ball clubs on the availability of key players June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Allein Maliksi, Calvin Abueva and Terrence Romeo.

Reyes included these five players in the 24-man roster even without the assurance of their release from their mother ball clubs with the Lebanon meet running in conflict with the PBA Governors Cup that kicks off Wednesday.

Gilas is banking on the memorandum of agreement between the PBA and the SBP where the pro league is supposed to be committed to release national pool members to the national team in important FIBA tourneys including the FIBA Asia Cup.

"It's there in the MOA. The FIBA Asia Cup is included in the MOA," said Reyes.

"Now they are citing security concern in Lebanon," Reyes added.

Also in the 24-man lineup where the Final 12 will come are Andray Blatche, Jason Castro, Baser Amer, Kevin Alas, Gabe Norwood, Raymond Almazan, Norbert Torres, Mathew Wright, Mac Belo, Cris Tolomia, Carl Bryan Cruz, Kevin Ferrer, Jio Jalalon, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Kiefer Ravena, Kobe Paras, Bobby Ray Parks and Christian Standhardinger.

There are no problems with the Gilas cadets, including the 17 players entered in the Jones Cup here.

If Fajardo, Aguilar, Maliksi, Abueva and Romeo are not lent by their mother ball clubs, Reyes will have no other recourse but to choose from the 19 other players.

The 2017 SEABA Championships edition of the Gilas Pilipinas | PBA Media File Photo © Philstar.com The 2017 SEABA Championships edition of the Gilas Pilipinas | PBA Media File Photo

The expanded Gilas pool provides the team some leeway.

"This is really a consensus effort on our part to expand our national pool. With the FIBA schedule playing different windows all throughout the year, it's very important to have a lot of players available for the national team," said Reyes who has got additional players on the entry of Ravena, Paras, Parks, Standhardinger and Jose.

"We couldn't rely on just 10 guys. We have to expand the pool. A part of the entire program is to continuously upgrade," Reyes also said.

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