TAIPEI - Gilas coach Chot Reyes on Tuesday expects to form a 12-man lineup that is more or less the same as the team that competed in the last Seaba championship after PBA veterans were given the green light to play in the Fiba Asia Cup in Lebanon next month.
"I don't expect it to be much different from the Seaba lineup," said Reyes, hours after PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa announced that the league board has released non-PBA rookies who are members of the Gilas pool for the Lebanon showpiece.
Although the Philippines submitted an initial 24-man lineup to Fiba Asia Cup organizers, Reyes and his coaching staff need to prune down the list to its Final 12 on July 25 - or just a day after Gilas rounds up its campaign in the 39th Jones Cup.
And with Gilas having previously named 12 of those players to a separate Gilas team bound for the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Reyes is now left with 15 players to choose from for his Fiba Asia lineup which he hopes to reinforce with Andray Blatche.
The Fiba Asia Cup will run from August 8-20 while SEA Games is set from August 19-30, prompting Reyes to split the original pool into two.
Earlier named to the SEA Games lineup were PBA rookies Baser Amer, Mike Tolomia, Von Pessumal, Kevin Ferrer, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Troy Rosario, Almond Vosotros, amateur stars Raymar Jose, Kobe Paras, Rayray Parks, and Kiefer Ravena, and naturalized player Chris Standhardinger.
That leaves Reyes with a 15-man pool to pick from for the Fiba Asia Cup, made up of June Mar Fajardo, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Japeth Aguilar, Allein Maliksi, Raymond Almazan, Jayson Castro, Kevin Alas, Norbert Torres, Gabe Norwood, Jio Jalalon, Roger Pogoy, Mac Belo and Matthew Wright.
From the pool, only Torres, Alas, Belo, and Norwood were not part of the Seaba team.
Gilas team manager Butch Antonio said they are in constant communication with the camp of Blatche, who is currently on a break from his season in the Chinese Basketball Association and spending time with his wife and newborn kid in the US.