The Philippine national men’s basketball team announced its pool of 24 players that will be available to represent the country in future FIBA competition.
Aside from the previously announced cadet pool, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio named the 12 professional basketball players – one from each PBA team – that were selected to bolster the Gilas Pilipinas national team.
The list is headed by the PBA’s reigning three-peat MVP June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel and two-time Best Point Guard in Asia Jayson Castro of TNT as well as several veterans of the past Gilas campaigns in both FIBA World and FIBA Asia competitions.
Rising international star Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort and Alaska star Calvin Abueva also made the pool as well as Barangay Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar and Star’s Paul Lee.
Rain or Shine’s Raymond Almazan, who has trained with the Gilas pool before, also made the list while former Gilas cadet pool members Nortbert Torres of Phoenix and Jonathan Grey of Meralco were also named to the squad.
The other players that made the cut were Blackwater’s Art Dela Cruz, NLEX’s Bradwyn Guinto and Mahindra’s LA Revilla.
The previously announced cadet pool is comprised of Mac Belo (Blackwater), Matthew Wright (Phoenix), Jio Jalalon (Star), Kevin Ferrer (Ginebra), Mike Tolomia (Rain or Shine), RR Pogoy (TNT), Ed Daquioag (Meralco), Arnold Van Opstal (San Miguel), Von Pessumal (GlobalPort), Russel Escoto (Mahindra), Carl Bryan Cruz (Alaska) and Fonzo Gotladera (NLEX).
The pool could increase to 25 with the addition of naturalized player Andray Blatche but there were also plans to naturalize two more foreign players with an eye on the future.