MANILA, Philippines–Gilas Pilipinas is tapping five more PBA standouts to remedy the national team’s predicament for the 19th Asian Games.
Chris Ross, Kevin Alas, Arvin Tolentino, CJ Perez, and Marcio Lassiter have been called up by the interim management of coach Tim Cone and team manager Alfrancis Chua to join the training squad’s preparations at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba Laguna.
Ross, Alas, Tolentino and Perez are coming in as contingency measures for Calvin, Jason Perkins, Mo Tautuaa and Terrence Romeo whose participation in the Hangzhou, China, showcase remains up in the air due to a conflict with the list of names submitted to the local organizing committee.
Chua said that a 60-man list submitted several months ago has been recently replaced by a 37-man selection that also features collegiate standouts, pros who are either injured or are plying their trade overseas.
Of the 37 players in the new list, only six players are available for a call-up.
“We will fight despite the handicaps we will have,” said SBP president Al Panlilio in a joint presser Tuesday afternoon at the PBA’s office in Libis, Quezon City. “The 16 names including the four saddled by this turn (of events) are sacrificing.”
“We have four guys that are maybe on the lineup and another four guys that maybe are not. So they are practicing even if they’re not going to be in the lineup or not,” Cone said.
Lassiter is coming in to replace Roger Pogoy, who is withdrawing due to serious health concerns, according to team management. The San Miguel Beer sniper is a lock for the campaign that begins against Bahrain on September 26.
Whether Ross, Alas, Tolentino, and Perez are going to truly replace the original quartet that began practicing last week will be known within the next two days, according to Chua.
Stanley Pringle, who was originally tapped as a reserve, was no longer on the new 37-man list.
Gilas is scheduled to leave for China on Sept. 23, a day after it hosts a Korean pro club in an open-to-public friendly at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
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