SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national coach Chot Reyes on Tuesday clarified that the team being assembled for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association qualifier is not yet the program’s cadet pool.
“The SEABA team is NOT the cadet pool,” wrote Reyes late Monday night on his Twitter account, before posting the lineup for the competition, which would include former SMART-Gilas team captain Chris Tiu, Aldrech Ramos, Cliff Hodge, Chris Ellis, Garvo Lanete, Eman Monfort, Borgy Hermida, Woody Co, Vic Manuel, Dave Marcelo, and Marcus Douthit.
Reyes noted that no college players were part of the SEABA lineup because of their commitments to school leagues.
In an earlier report on InterAKTV, Jong Uichico said that he will be tasked to coach the team, which he described as composed of “cadet players”.
“I was asked to coach the SMART-Gilas squad composed of cadet players (in the qualifier) this July, but it will also depend if Talk ‘N Text will make it,” Uichico said.
InterAKTV on Monday also reported that Filipino-American prospects Hodge and Ellis will not be part of this year’s PBA draft to join SMART-Gilas. The development earned the ire of Alaska coach Luigi Trillo, who described the development as “selfish and unfair”.
“We are lending our best pro players. The draft is our only chance to strengthen our line up. Why deprive teams who are willing to lend?” said Trillo.
But Reyes alluded to the report of Ellis and Hodge joining the cadet program as “inaccurate”.
“Comments about Gilas being selfish and unfair are coming from misinformed parties basing their remarks on inaccurate press reports,” said Reyes.
A highly-placed source close to Hodge and Ellis told InterAKTV earlier that the two players will still carry on their plan to skip the PBA draft to be part of SMART-Gilas.
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