Gilas Pilipinas national team headed by coach Tab Baldwin announced the final 12 of the Philippine men’s basketball on Sunday for the upcoming 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament scheduled on July 5 to 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Surprisingly, Alaska forward and Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference Calvin Abueva and Ginebra playmaker LA Tenorio were cut out of the final 12 and were relegated to the reserve list.
The players selected are guard Bobby Ray Parks, guard Jeff Chan of Rain or Shine, combo guard Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort, guard Ryan Reyes of Talk ‘N Text, guard Jayson Castro of Talk ‘N Text, forward Ranidel De Ocampo of Talk ‘N Text, forward Troy Rosario of Talk ‘N Text, center June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer, Jean Marc Pingris of Star Hotshots, Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine, Japeth Aguilar of Ginebra and naturalized Filipino center Andray Blatche.
“If you have the best people in the process, you have the best chance of succeeding,” Baldwin, who is currently in Bologna, Italy, told reporters covering at the TV5 Studio in Mandaluyong City. “I haven’t slept yet since we made this decision.”
“I would like to congratulate all the players who are selected in the final 12 and I would like to thank Calvin and LA for their sacrifice. Although they were not included in the final 12, I believe they still deserve a spot in the national team,” said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Manny V. Pangilinan.
The team was set to play the Chinese national team in a pocket tournament in Bologna Italy.
“The players selected are shooters and ready to play a fast-paced game,” said former Gilas Pilipinas member Jimmy Alapag.