By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) already submitted its initial 24-man pool to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) for the upcoming August window of the 2023 World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
After a disappointing series of events from the Southeast Asian Games to the FIBA Asia Cup, the SBP just went all in and already got the commitment of NBA aspirant Kai Sotto and former NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson.
Backstopping Sotto and Clarkson for the fourth window of the Asian Qualifiers is the returning combo guard Dwight Ramos who missed the last FIBA Asia Cup due to an injury.
Also included in the list are Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quimbao, and Francis Lopez who were already part of the Gilas Pilipinas roster since the past international tournament.
Headlining the members included from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) are Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, and Arvin Tolentino, Northport’s Robert Bolick and Jamie Malonzo, NLEX’s Kevin Alas and Calvin Oftana, and Magnolia’s Jio Jalalon and Ian Sangalang.
Despite the ongoing battle between the San Miguel Beermen and the Meralco Bolts in the PBA semifinals, the SBP still included SMB’s June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez while Chris Newsome, Allein Maliksi, and Raymond Almazan from the Bolts were also tapped.
Free agent and Gilas pool member Roosevelt Adams, a former lottery pick by the Terrafirma Dyip, was also included in the list.
The SBP hopes to have its roster finalized days before its first game against Lebanon on August 25 and will take on Saudi Arabia on August 29.
Calling the shots for the national team is still head coach Chot Reyes alongside associates Tim Cone, Jong Uichico, Nenad Vucinic, and Goldwyn Monteverde.