Gilas Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio announced on Thursday via Twitter the names of the 14 players that would attend a three-week training camp in Europe as part of the team’s preparation for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament in July.
Included in the list are Jayson Castro, Ranidel De Ocampo, June Mar Fajardo, Jean Marc Pingris, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, Jeff Chan, Troy Rosario, Ryan Reyes, Bobby Ray Parks, LA Tenorio and naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche.
San Miguel Beer guard Marcio Lassiter did not make the cut because of bronchitis. Also not included in the roster are Talk ‘N Text’s Moala Tautuaa and amateur standout Kiefer Ravena.
The 14 players will travel to Greece, Turkey and Italy from June 10 to 26 for a series of tune-up games.
After the European training camp, Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin will select the final 12 players of the team plus two reserves.
“We just selected the best players in the pool and that’s them,” Baldwin told The Manila Times on Thursday. “Marcio [Lassiter] will not join us in our trip to Europe because of his illness. We’re going to leave by Friday evening.”
Baldwin was supposed to make the announcement on Wednesday after the Gilas Pilipinas’ tune-up game against Iran.
“Actually, we were very close to a decision, but tonight’s game kind of makes us rethink things sometimes,” Baldwin told reporters during the postgame interview on Wednesday.
“But that’s why we play those games to help us make the final decision.”
Even the players didn’t know who’s in or out, “Actually, I don’t have any idea. I’m just doing my best all day in practice until now,” Romeo told reporters.
Gilas Pilipinas beat Iran 81-70 in the tune-up match late Wednesday.