GILAS Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin will already have his final 12-man roster for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament even before the team returns to Manila from its three-week European training camp.
By Sunday, the 58-year-old mentor is set to announce who cracked the Gilas lineup for the July 5-10 qualifiers set at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Only two of the current 14-man list training in Europe now, won’t be able to make it and instead, will be relegated as team reserves.
As earlier planned, Baldwin will be making the announcement of the final lineup from Italy via Skype to be aired live by Sports5.
The team had just departed for Italy from Istanbul on Thursday, and will play a short pocket tournament starting on Saturday involving the host country, China, and Canada.
The following day, the Filipinos play the loser of the Canada-China match if they fall against the Italians, or the winner should they beat Italy.
Shortly after, Baldwin makes the excruciating decision on who among the 14 will have to be relegated to the sidelines when the team battles for a berth in the Rio De Janeiro Olympics three weeks from now.
On Monday, Gilas comes back home to Manila.
The team’s 14-man roster include naturalized player Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Marc Pingris, Calvin Abueva, Jayson Castro, Bobby Ray Parks, Troy Rosario, Ryan Reyes, LA Tenorio, Jeff Chan, Ranidel De Ocampo, Terrence Romeo, and Gabe Norwood.
The team left last June 10 for a nine-day training camp in the mountains of Kapernisi, Greece, and then proceeded to Istanbul and played Turkey in a tune-up match which it lost, 103-68.
The two teams meet again on July 1 in Manila, four days before the qualifiers formally kick-off.