16 pros named to Gilas pool

Andray Blatche takes pictures with Filipino fans. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Andray Blatche takes pictures with Filipino fans. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Gilas Pilipinas presented its members that will compete in the upcoming 28th FIBA Asia Championship Olympic qualifying tournament on September 23 to October 3 in Changsha, China.

“All the players in the PBA [Philippine Basketball Association] are allowed to play by team owners. Nobody has been barred to join the national team by their respective teams but it only depends on the players if they can play or not. All teams are cooperating. It depends on the players if they are injured,” PBA media relation head Willie Marcial told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Monday.

The members of the team are Talk ‘N Text’s point guard Jayson Castro, Ranidel De Ocampo, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Kelly Williams, Northern Luzon Expressway’s veteran center Paul Asi Taulava and Aldrech Ramos and GlobalPort’s Terrence Romeo, Meralco’s Gary David, Barako Bull’s JC Intal, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood, Alaska’s center Sonny Thoss, Dondon Hontiveros and Calvin Abueva, San Miguel Beer’s center June Mar Fajardo, Star’s Jean Marc Pingris and Ginebra’s LA Tenorio.

Naturalized Filipino player Andray Blatche, who arrived on Sunday evening in Manila, will reinforce the team. He joined the team’s practice on Monday at the Meralco gym.

Fajardo is currently nursing a foot injury while Tenorio also begged off because of health reasons. Pingris, on the other hand, is officially on leave because of family matters.

Former national player 6’9 Japeth Aguilar, although not included in the list, announced last week that he could not join this year’s Gilas Pilipinas team because of a dislocated finger.


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