Gilas Pilipinas pool for Olympic wildcard qualifier bared; Castro, Fajardo lead 17-man list

FIBA photo

FIBA photo

The PBA on Wednesday announced the 17-player pool of the Philippine national men’s basketball team for its campaign in the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year as the league reiterated its “full support” to Gilas Pilipinas.

Part of the list are reigning back-to-back MVP June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel Beer; Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel; Paul Lee, Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine;

Jayson Castro, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Troy Rosario, Ranidel De Ocampo and Ryan Reyes of Talk ‘N Text; Marc Pingris and Ian Sangalang of Star; Calvin Abueva of Alaska and Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort.

The list was released after the PBA Board of Governors held a special meeting where the league made a special resolution “to fully support” the national team that is hoping to keep its Olympic dream alive in next year’s wildcard qualifier.

The PBA pool will reinforce Gilas Pilipinas that is expected to get help from naturalized player Andray Blatche and possibly Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas will announce the final 12-man lineup in January.

Earlier, outgoing SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan declared that Gilas Pilipinas will only join the wildcard qualifier next year if the team will be stronger compared to the one that won the silver medal in the FIBA Asia Championship.

In the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Gilas Pilipinas will be up against fellow runners-up from other continents. At stake is the three remaining tickets to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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