CURRENT standouts from the collegiate ranks are being eyed to join Kiefer Ravena and Co. in the new Gilas Pilipinas cadet pool that will fly the flag beginning next year Fiba shifts to a home-and-away qualifying format for the 2019 World Cup of Basketball in China.
According to SPIN.ph sources, Ravena, Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia, Roger Pogoy, and Russel Escoto are being offered three-year contracts 'comparable to PBA deals' to skip the coming rookie draft of the pro league and form the core in a new era for the Gilas program.
All five have already played out their college eligibility, although Belo and Escoto have the option to play one more season with the Far Eastern University Tamaraws after the UAAP junked its 'seven-year window' for players.
They will be joined by current stars of the collegiate scene who will likewise be offered three-year deals significantly lower than those offered to Ravena and Co., the source added.
“Halos PBA na ang rate nung inaalok sa kanila. Malalaki kontrata ng mga 'yun, three years ang binibigay,” said the source. “Yung mga current college players, three years din ang alok sa iba, kaso hindi kasing laki nung sa mga inoffer kila Kiefer.”
Among the college stars being lured to the Gilas program are Arellano top gun Jio Jalalon, La Salle's Prince Rivero, Letran's Rey Nambatac and Jom Sollano, JV Mocon of San Beda and FEU's Raymar Jose.
Jose and Jalalon already played for the Gilas cadet team that ruled the Seaba Cup.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), through Gilas team manager Butch Antonio, is still negotiating with Bobby Ray Parks, who is being eyed to be the captain and leader of the new Gilas pool.
However, Parks' commitment with the SBP is only with the Gilas team currently preparing for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila next month, with sources saying the son of seven-time PBA best import Bobby Parks may likely opt for a short contract to pursue his dream of making it to the NBA.
Former Ateneo prospect CJ Perez, who has moved to Lyceum after failing to meet the academic requirements of the Katipunan school, and Seaba Cup veteran Ken Holqvist are also on the shortlist along with top PBA rookie draft prospect Arnold Van Opstal.
However, the status of the three are still uncertain.
Meanwhile here is the shortlist of possible members of the Gilas Cadets:
Bobby Ray Parks*
Arnold Van Opstal***
* reportedly asking for a short contract
** among of the prospects
*** no offer yet