Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes submitted his 23-man pool for the coming International Basketball Federation (FIBA) home-and-away Asian Qualifiers starting on November 25.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche led the pool that also include Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Kevin Alas, Raymond Almazan, Baser Amer, Mac Belo, Carl Bryan Cruz, June Mar Fajardo, Russel Escoto, Kevin Ferrer, Jio Jalalon, Allein Maliksi, Gabe Norwood, Von Pessumal, Roger Pogoy, LA Revilla, Kiefer Ravena, Troy Rosario, Mike Tolomia, Jayson Castro and Matthew Wright.
Gilas 5 returned to training last Friday in a closed-door session at the Meralco gym in Ortigas, Pasig City as ordered by Reyes.
Players and members of the coaching staff were also barred from granting interviews following the turmoil in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
The majority of the PBA board, led by the MVP bloc, did not renew the contract of Chito Narvasa as commissioner, but the other group, led by the San Miguel Corporation bloc, threw their support to Narvasa.
Players from the SMC bloc attended Friday’s training.
Only 13 players — Fajardo, Wright, Aguilar, Abueva, Belo, Cruz, Maliksi, Norwood, Pogoy, Castro, Rosario, Almazan and Jalalon — showed up on the first day of practice.
Jalalon did not join the scrimmage due to a lateral collateral ligament injury.
Blatche, according to Reyes, is set to arrive next week although there are reports that the Xianjing Flying Tigers prior sent him home prior to the start of the Chinese Basketball Association games due to injury.
Blatche did not play in the FIBA Asia Cup last August in Lebanon that paved the way for the signing of Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger.
Gilas will take on Japan on November 25 in Tokyo then face Taiwan at home on November 27.
PH 5 will meet powerhouse Australia on February 22 and Japan on February 25 next year. The other matches for Gilas are on June 29 against Taiwan and July 2 against Australia.
Seven slots are allotted to Asia for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
Gilas is tentatively set to leave for Japan on November 21.