A 21-man roster, which will include some members of the first batch of Gilas Pilipinas, has been formed to make up the national men’s basketball pool.
Dondon Hontiveros, Ranidel De Ocampo and Sonny Thoss, who were members of the 2007 national team that was christened for the first time as Team Gilas, showed up with the newest members of the pool during a presentation on Monday night at the Shangrila Hotel in Makati.
The national pool is supposed to be a 24-men lineup, but the last three have yet to be named to the list.
Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said they have yet to assemble the team for practice. But, most of them have games in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup.
“These guys haven’t been training (yet). They’re playing in the PBA. We don’t want to burn them out and overtrain them,” said Reyes. “Gilas started in 2007 and it is but fitting to include some players form that original batch.”
Reyes talked about the national squad with former Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Manny Pangilinan, who is still around to help the national squad as one of its sponsors.
Pangilinan and his company, Smart Communications said this after forging a partnership with a roasted chicken retail business group to support the national team’s campaign for the next four years.
The 2017 Southeast Asia Basketball Association championship will be the start of the Gilas Pilipinas national men’s team campaign, and their journey to reach the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next year.
Roasted chicken retail business group, Chooks to Go, will be around to support its campaign for the next four years.
This was after Ronald Mascarinas signed a partnership with Pangilinan, the SBP headed by its president Al Panlilio and national coach Chot Reyes. Mascarinas is the president of Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc., the company that operates Chooks to Go.
Pangilinan said the support is enough to defray the expenses of Gilas in its journey in the next four years. The SEABA tournament is set on March 2017.
“We need to win that because the next international event in the FIBA Asia Championship,” said Pangilinan.