The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) revealed its 19-man Gilas Pilipinas Men pool for the FIBA World Cup.
On Monday night, via its social media handles, the SBP named Japeth Aguilar, Raymond Almazan, Mark Barroca, Beau Belga, Andray Blatche, Robert Bolick, Jordan Clarkson, Poy Erram, Junemar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, CJ Perez, RR Pogoy, Stanley Pringle, Kiefer Ravena, Chris Standhardinger, Troy Rosario, and Matt Wright to the national team pool.
The inclusion of Clarkson, Pringle, and Standhardinger to the pool is an interesting case as they are classified by FIBA as naturalized players due to failure to prove that they got their Philippine passports before they became 16-year-olds.
However, Coach Yeng Guiao decided to bring them in just in case Blatche gets injured before the FIBA World Cup, which will start on Aug. 31.
“It’s a backup plan. I hope nothing happens and no harm comes to Andray, but at least we have options on the naturalized players,” Guiao said.
But he is hopeful that they will be considered as locals, at least for the case of Clarkson.
“We’re still hoping that a miracle happens,” Guiao said.
Two days after arriving from the United States, Blatche quickly swung to practice for the national team in the buildup for the FIBA World Cup.
The former NBA star participated in the Monday night practice at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City along with Almazan, Barroca, Belga, Bolick, Lassiter, Norwood, Perez, Pogoy, Ravena, and Wright.
Fajardo, Lee, and Rosario also attended the practice but were relegated to observer roles. (PNA)
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