Sep 19, 2023

Rosales lauds 16 Gilas Pilipinas stalwarts

PBA vice chairman Bobby Rosales lauded the 16 Gilas Pilipinas stalwarts who are showing great character in the face of adversity in their Asian Games buildup.

For Rosales, the Nationals are carving a shining moment for Philippine basketball by not backing down despite manpower woes, eligibility issues and short prep time.

"We have to admire the level of commitment of these 17 valiant players to still fight for their country," Rosales said in Tuesday's presscon at the PBA offices held to give updates on the preparations from the Sept. 23 to Oct. 10 meet in Hangzhou, China.

Gilas was forced to devise a "Plan B" with the stints of Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins, Mo Tautuaa and Terrence Romeo doubtful because they weren't part of the long list of 37 names previously submitted to the organizers.

Coach Tim Cone called up Chris Ross, Arvin Tolentino, Kevin Alas and CJ Perez as possible replacements and tapped Marcio Lassiter to take the spot of RR Pogoy, who pulled out due to ailment.

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They linked up with Justin Brownlee, Ange Kouame, June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, Calvin Oftana and Chris Newsome, who were adamant in carrying out the mission despite the uncertainties.

Abueva, Perkins, Tautuaa and Romeo stayed in the camp while waiting for the final word on their status.

"At the risk of revealing my age, I haven't seen this for a long, long time and these players are good examples to emulate by the young players, willing to fight for their country without asking for anything so it's a shining moment," said Rosales.

"I'd still look at the positive side. Despite all the difficulties and the limited time, it's still a shining moment for Philippine basketball," he added.

Rosales was joined by Cone, Gilas team manager Al Chua, PBA chairman Ricky Vargas and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio in the presidential table. (OL)