Feb 13, 2020

No more Gilas addition as team now focus on Asia Cup qualifiers

WITH exactly a week before the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas is already settled with the cast of talent it has in its current training pool.

Team manager Gabby Cui said Wednesday there will be no more new faces to be added to the pool as the team is now just waiting for the other players to show up and join Gilas in its daily practice at the Meralco gym.

"Wala na," quipped Cui when asked if there will be other players who will be extended invitations just like what the team did the past few days when it added the likes of Justin Chua, Vic Manuel, Abu Tratter, and Javee Mocon to the pool.

Chua and Mocon have diligently showed up in practice, while Tratter and Manuel are still both a no-show as Alaska is currently having its team building session for the coming PBA 45th season.

Cu said Tratter is expected to finally come on board on Valentine's Day, while Manuel will probably attend by Sunday since his wife just gave birth.

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"We talked to them and they're willing to help out, knowing that there have been a lot of our invitees who said they won't be able to make it," said the Gilas official.

"But even on short notice, they still want to help our Gilas Pilipinas, so we're looking forward to them being here and helping out."

Also expected to join the team by Friday for the first time is University of the Philippines stalwart Kobe Paras.

The high-flying Paras showed up in the gym in street clothes after going straight to the Gilas practice from Naga where he attended a UP activity.

"He will be practicing on Friday," Cui assured.

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Still a no-show from the original 24-man pool drawn up and submitted by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) are Bobby Ray Parks and Justine Baltazar.

Cui said Gilas remains hopeful the two will confirm their participation with the national team, which hosts Thailand on Thursday for the first window of the qualifiers. (RG)