Smart Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes has officially named the 12 players who will be donning the national colors in the 27th International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Men’s Championship scheduled on August 1 to 11 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City and Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.
They are naturalized player Marcus Douthit, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Larry Fonacier, LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, Gary David, Marc Pingris and June Mar Fajardo. Beau Belga was not included in the official lineup.
Reyes said the decision was made after getting inputs from the other members of the coaching staff and veteran mentors Kestutis Kemzura and Tab Baldwin.
The Philippines will be playing in Group A along with Jordan, Chinese Taipei and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia serves as the country’s first assignment on August 1 then Jordan on August 2 before facing Taiwan on August 3. All games of the Smart Gilas Pilipinas will be at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Playing in Group B are Japan, Qatar, Lebanon and Hong Kong while seeing action in Group C are defending champion Iran, powerhouse China, South Korea and Malaysia. Included in Group D are Kazakhstan, India, Bahrain and Thailand.
The top three teams after the FIBA Asia meet will advance to the FIBA World Championships scheduled next year in Spain.
Reyes and the rest of the team are currently in New Zealand for training camp and series of tuneup games against top local club in Napier, Wellington and Auckland.