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Monday, March 4, 2024

Chot seeks tall, young players for Gilas pool

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The final pool of players in the Gilas Pilipinas national men’s basketball team will most likely be formed with young and tall players in the mix after the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers’ third window in New Zealand.

Gilas Pilipinas program director Chot Reyes said this a few days after he stepped aside and let consultant Nenad Vucinic take care of coaching Team Philippines when it meets host New Zealand and India in the last two games of Group A.

Reyes said they will consider at least five tall cagers in the Gilas Youth lineup for inclusion.

Doing so would strengthen the Gilas men’s pool not only for the 2023 FIBA World, but also for future international competitions.

“It is a 2-in-1 process. Tinitingnan naming iyung mga players ng team na pupunta sa New Zealand. Na puwede sila sa final pool, if not in the final 12,” said Reyes, who spoke of the plans for Gilas on Saturday’s weekly Power and Play.

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Among the players that’s in the radar of Reyes are 6’5” players Caelum Harris, Kristian Porter, Alex Konov and Basti Reyes, and 6’6” Zain Mahmood.

With Vucinic now focusing on the men’s team, Reyes is concentrating on building up the roster of the Gilas’ Under-16 boys squad.

The Gilas Youth squad is getting ready for the Asian Championship within the next two weeks.

So far, Reyes said that talented cagers Dwight Ramos, Kai Sotto, Thirdy Ravena, and Jordan Clarkson are among those who could make the cut in the final roster.

For now, Gilas is dealing with the absence of Justine Baltazar and James Spencer, who have begged off. Peter Atencio

Baltazar is finalizing his commitments with the Pampanga Delta in the NBL-Pilipinas before flying out with his family to Hiroshima, Japan for his stint in the Dragonflies in the B. League.

Spencer is undergoing rehabilitation in Australia because of his plantar fasciitis injury.

Gilas is also looking for the inclusion of Ricci Rivero, who is set to report for practice on Monday.

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