San Beda’s Dave Marcelo has gotten clearance to suit up for the Sinag Pilipinas national basketball team bound for 26th SEA Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The news was relayed by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios.
“I just got word that Marcelo was accepted in the final 12 by the SEA Games [organizing committee],” said Barrios in a text message.
The coaching staff headed by Norman Black had initially mulled not including Marcelo in the final roster, because the San Beda center was not included in the initial list submitted by the SBP to the Philippine Olympic Committee. Marcelo, the Most Valuable Player of the recently-concluded NCAA finals, came in as a late replacement for San Sebastian players Ian Sangalang and Ronald Pascual for failing to attend regular practices.
Black said Ateneo center Justin Chua was supposed to replace Marcelo in the roster but with the turn of events, he said the staff now faces a “good problem.”
Marcelo is a welcome addition to Sinag Pilipinas, which will defend its title in the SEA Games, as it gives the Philippine five a big man who plays solid defense.
With Marcelo a virtual shoo-in for the top twelve spots, Black now has to pick two players from the Sinag Pilipinas pool who will be relegated to the reserve list.
A source told InterAKTV that Chua might drop out to focus on his studies, while UST’s Jeric Teng and Jeric Fortuna will designated as reserves.
That will leave Chris Tiu, Greg Slaughter, Chris Ellis, Cliff Hodge, Emman Monfort, Nico Salva, Kiefer Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks, RR Garcia, Garvo Lanete and Jake Pascual in the final roster along with Marcelo.
The final 12 will be known after the managers’ meeting on November 12.
The Philippines is bracketed in Group A along with Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam while host Indonesia leads Group B that also includes Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar.
The Filipino dribblers take on Cambodia on November 14, Vietnam the following day and Thailand on November 16 at the Kelapa Gading Sports Mall in Jakarta. All games will be broadcast live over AKTV on IBC.