Gilas Pilipinas’ final roster all set for Korean friendly games

Gilas Pilipinas will march to battle in Korea with a revamped roster led by collegiate stars (FIBA ASIA photo)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The official roster of the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team for their upcoming pair of friendly games against Korea has already been finalized.

The roster had a major revamp after NLEX Road Warriors superstar Kiefer Ravena was the only one retained from their Southeast Asian Games squad and will be accompanied by collegiate superstars from the UAAP and the NCAA.

Headlining the roster is the returning Dwight Ramos who stood as the squad’s leader during their successful stints in the FIBA Asia qualifiers when they swept Korea in back-to-back games.

Backstopping Ramos are his past teammates under the Tab Baldwin-led team RJ Abarrientos, SJ Belangel, Geo Chiu, Dave Ildefonso, Ange Kouame, LeBron Lopez, Will Navarro, and Carl Tamayo.

Meanwhile, first timers will include NCAA’s rookie MVP and champion with the Letran Knights Rhenz Abando and former Batang Gilas center Kevin Quiambao.

The Filipino hoopers will travel to Korea for the friendly games which will take place from June 17-18 at the Anyang Gymnasium in Gyeonggi-Do.

Gilas will be mentored by head coach Nenad Vucinic who will be taking over the chief tactician duties of Chot Reyes for the third window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.

The national team will be looking to bounce back after having its 13-year streak of winning the gold medal in the SEA Games broken after the team was upset by the revitalized Indonesian squad during the gold medal match.

Gilas’ loss is their first since winning the gold medal way back in 1991. Their last silver medal finish came last 1989 when they lost against Malaysia.