Friday, February 28, 2014

Chot Reyes adds Greg Slaughter, Paul Lee to Gilas Pilipinas pool

Philippine national men’s basketball coach Chot Reyes has announced the pool of invitees for the Gilas Pilipinas squad that will represent the country in two major international competitions this year.

Reyes named Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro, Ranidel De Ocampo, and Larry Fonacier of Talk ‘N Text; Beau Belga, Jeff Chan, Paul Lee, and Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine; Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, and LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel; Gary David and Jared Dillinger of Meralco; June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel Beer; and Marc Pingris of San Mig Coffee into the pool, alongside naturalized center Marcus Douthit.

Brooklyn Net big man Andray Blatche, whose naturalization process is already underway in Congress, is also a candidate for the team.

The core of the pool is composed of the men who donned the national colors during Gilas’ historic silver medal run in the FIBA Asia Championship last year. That feat allows the Philippines to return to the world stage for the first time in four decades.

Belga was the last man cut from the team last year, while Slaughter was also a part of the group. Dillinger was initially part of the pool before suffering a hip injury in a car accident.

Lee and Lassiter are new faces in the pool.

Gilas will see action against the top teams in the globe in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in August. The squad will use that stint as a springboard for the Asian Games men’s basketball tournament in Incheon, South Korea, the first time a team led by a core of PBA players will represent the country in the event since 2002.

“I would like to acknowledge the team owners and the PBA Board of Governors for allowing me to name the players in the pool. I would like to thank the PBA for its continued partnership to the national team effort,” said Reyes.

The team will start weekly practice on Monday at 8 p.m. at PhilSports Arena. Gilas will continue to train once a week until it can hold regular daily practices after the PBA season.


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