Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Gilas Pilipinas named final 12-man lineup for FIBA Asia Championship 2015
The Philippine national team has named its 12-man lineup for the FIBA Asia Championship this month.
Making the Gilas Pilipinas cut for coach Tab Baldwin are naturalized center Andray Blatche along with Calvin Abueva, Jayson Castro, Ranidel De Ocampo, Dondon Hontiveros, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, JC Intal, Gabe Norwood, Marc Pingris, Terrence Romeo, Asi Taulava, and Sonny Thoss.
Notably missing is NBA star Jordan Clarkson, the Filipino-American guard who was earlier included in the team's 24-man submission to FIBA.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said that while Los Angeles Lakers management has allowed Clarkson to play for the national team, he was required by the NBA ballclub to report to its training camp by September 28.
"Unfortunately, under this limitation, Jordan Clarkson can only participate in the elimination phase of the tournament," said the SBP.
The FIBA Asia tilt starts on September 23 and ends on October 3, when most NBA teams have already started camp for the upcoming season.
"This scheduling issue is distinct only to the FIBA Asia Zone, and it does not occur in the other FIBA zones. By this token, we will ask FIBA Asia to consider holding the tournament in the same manner as FIBA Americas, Europe, Oceania, and Africa do, that is avoiding scheduling conflict with the calender of the NBA."
Also cut from the team from its recent stint in the William Jones Cup are former team captain Jimmy Alapag, Gary David, Aldrech Ramos, Troy Rosario, and Moala Tautuaa, who was the team's backup naturalized option in case Blatche went down.
Castro, De Ocampo, Norwood, and Pingris remain the only holdovers from the Philippine team that won silver in the 2013 edition of the FIBA Asia Championship.
The team is hoping to move up a notch in this year's tournament, which serves as the qualifier to the Olympic basketball competition next year. Only the gold medalist in this year's FIBA Asia competition will book a ticket to Rio de Janeiro.