The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), the national governing body of basketball, has bared the complete 24-man pool of Gilas Pilipinas men’s team on Wednesday, August 17.
San Miguel Beermen’s June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez along with Barangay Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, and Arvin Tolentino and Meralco Bolts’ Chris Newsome, Allein Maliksi, and Raymond Almazan are the latest additions.
Jordan Clarkson and Kai Satto set to join Gilas squad
Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson of the NBA and NBA hopeful Kai Sotto will banner the national squad.
Sotto, who is arriving on August 18, earlier expressed his intent to join his Gilas teammates to beef up the squad’s preparations for the qualifiers.
SBP executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barrios said, “We are glad to have Kai into the Gilas fold and thank him for his proactive response to the call to play for flag and country for the August Qualifiers.”
The team only has a few days left to practice as a complete team before it flies to Beirut to play against 2022 FIBA Asia Cup silver medalist Lebanon on August 25 in the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup.
Chot Reyes-coached Gilas held its first behind-closed-doors practice that drew a mix of familiar and new faces at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City on Monday night, August 15.
NorthPort star Jamie Malonzo and NLEX’s Calvin Oftana and Kevin Alas joined the national pool’s first training session along with mainstays Ravena brothers, Kiefer and Thirdy, Dwight Ramos, Bobby Ray Parks, Kevin Quiambao, Carl Tamayo, and Francis Lopez.
Players and coaches
Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone and Gilas assistant coach Josh Reyes were also in attendance. Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) two-time grand slam coach Tim Cone provided input to players who attended the practice that covered fast ball movement and shooting drills with several variations.
Magnolia’s Jio Jalalon and Ian Sangalang were expected to join the sessions starting on Tuesday night, August 16, to mark their return to the national team after a long time.
The Hotshots duo received an invitation from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to form part of the Gilas pool for the two August qualifiers after Magnolia failed to advance to the finals of the PBA Philippine Cup.
Sangalang, however, may still be nursing from an injury he suffered from TNT player Poy Erram’s unintentional elbow hit early in the fourth quarter of their Game 6 clash.
But Butch Antonio, who manages the Gilas Pilipinas team, said Sangalang and Jalalon and Sangalang were set to start training for the national squad on Tuesday.
Reyes is reportedly keen on tapping players from the San Miguel Beermen and Meralco Bolts who have yet to wind up their best-of-seven semifinals series in the PBA Philippine Cup. Both teams were in a 3-all deadlock following the Bolts’ dramatic come-from-behind 96-92 win in Game 6 held on Sunday, August 14 at the Big Dome.
After their match against Lebanon, the nationals will then host Saudi Arabia on August 29 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Philippines is co-hosting the 19th edition of the FIBA World Cup with Indonesia and Japan. At least 16 countries from the original 32 qualifiers will compete in the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, SM MOA Arena in Pasay City, and Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.
Gilas ticket info
Tickets for the Gilas Pilipinas-Saudi Arabia matchup are pegged at P10,000 for the patron VIP, P5,000 for the patron, P1,500 for lower box premium, P1,000 for lower box regular, P250 for upper box, and P100 for general admission,
Tickets are available at www.smtickets.com and in all SM ticket outlets nationwide.
Contact (02) 8470-2222 for inquiries.