While still being off on their European training camp, Philippine National Men’s Basketball Team Head Coach Tab Baldwin announced his final selection of the 12-man team (from a final list of 14 possible names) that will represent the country in the FIBA 2016 Olympic Qualifier.
From Bologna Italy, Baldwin made the announcement of the following names via teleconference with Samahang Basketbol Pilipinas: Tropang Talk N Text’s Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, Ryan Reyes, and Ranidel de Ocampo, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ Gabe Norwood and Jeffrei Chan, San Miguel Beermen June Mar Fajardo, Star Hotshots’ Marc Pingris, Barangay GSM’s Japeth Aguilar, and GlobalPort Batang Pier’s Terrence Romeo. Alongside the PBA stars are Bobby Ray Parks, Jr of the NBA D-League’s Texas Legends and Andray Blatche of the Chinese Basketball Association’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers.
Selected following three weeks of grueling training, tune-up games, and an ongoing pocket tournament against Italy, China and Canada, the latest iteration of the Gilas will be playing for the right to play for the Philippines at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero.
The remaining two players, the Alaska Aces’ Calvin Abueva and Barangay GSM’s LA Tenorio, will be held as reserves.
“It was difficult but what made it easier is the way they responded, the way they took the decision,” team manager Butch Antonio said, of the decision to cut Abueva and Tenorio. “It was team first before them.”
The FIBA 2016 Olympic Qualifiers begin in Manila’s Mall of Asia Arena on July 5, where they will compete against Turkey, Senegal, Canada, and France.