YENG Guiao named four new players including two cadets, as part of his 20-man training pool for the coming window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
Commissioner Willie Marcial and Board of Governors Rene Pardo (Magnolia) and Siliman Sy (Blackwater) joined the proceedings.
Veterans LA Tenorio and Arwind Santos along with young ones Kai Sotto and Richie Rivero were included by Guiao in the list he presented, and later approved by the PBA Board and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Wednesday.
The four were joined by June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Ian Sangalang, Paul Lee, Alex Cabagnot, Matthew Wright, Marcio Lassiter, Scottie Thompson, Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, Poy Erram, and comebacking Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario.
Listed as naturalized player are Christian Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle.
"We are very happy to announce that both the SBP and the PBA support the proposal of coach Yeng Guiao, I think it will be maybe one of the best, if not, the best team that would be ever formed to actually represent the Philippines in the international competition," said SBP president Al Panlilio during a press conference where Guiao announced the training pool at halftime of the Magnolia-Blackwater Governors Cup quarterfinals.
"I would like to personally thank the PBA and the SBP for the unconditional support that they have given us," said the national coach, who said the national team will start practicing by next week.
Conspicuously absent were prominent regulars Andray Blatche and Terrence Romeo, who are only eligible to play again for the Dec. 3 game against Iran after serving the three-game suspension meted on them by FIBA.
Guiao said leaving out the 6-foot-11 Blatche was a 'hard decision on our part.'
"Since Andray is only going to be available on the Iran game, there's some limitations on how we can utilize him," he stressed.
Besides, the national coach said Standhardinger had produced great numbers in his stint with the team.
"We felt he deserved strong considerations for the line-up."
But Guiao made it clear Blatche and Romeo are both in consideration for the next window of the qualifiers.
"We sought the approval of the SBP and the PBA and they supported the decision," he said. "Terrence is also going to be considered just like Blatche in the next window, but we would like to be able to reward the guys who have already played in the fourth window and the guys who played in the Asian Games."
Initially, the team will practice Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before making it a daily basis once the league suspends the conference for the FIBA window.
As part of its preparation, Team Philippines will play scrimmage games against Jordan on Nov. 19 and 21 and against Lebanon on Nov. 23 and 25 at the Meralco gym.
"Good for us at least we won't have to spend money to go abroad and play tune-up games," said Guiao. (RG)