IN the end, height is always might in basketball.
Lack of ceiling appeared to have doomed the chances of Calvin Abueva - and to some extent LA Tenorio - making the final 12-man lineup of Gilas Pilipinas for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila.
Facing bigger and tougher foes in the July 5-10 meet at the Mall of Asia Arena, Tab Baldwin and his coaching staff perhaps believe the only way for the national team to be competitive is to go big in every position, said former Gilas coach Chot Reyes.
"The coaching staff obviously put a lot of premium in height," explained now Media5 president Reyes shortly after the announcement of the team's official roster on Sunday night at the TV5 office in Mandaluyong.
"And in his position, medyo alanganin si Calvin," added Reyes about Abueva, who stands a shade below 6-2 but plays small forward and off guard.
Reyes noted the tall lineup Baldwin had assembled especially among the wingmen, with guards Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, and Ryan Reyes the only small guys in the team.
"Guards lang ang maliliit natin and all the rest, wingmen and bigs na," said the man Baldwin succeded at the helm of Gilas.
"As a wingman, pinaka-agrabyado si Calvin sa height. And in the end, that was the big factor."
But there were also other aspects that were considered.
"Of course No. 2 factor is also the performance of the players not only during the camp but also on tune-up games. Yun ang sinabi sa akin ng coaching staff," said Reyes.
The one-time national mentor had a brief talk with Baldwin and deputies Alex Compton and Norman Black over Skype just before the announcement wad made.
And contrary to speculations, he said the decision was only made at 5 p.m. of Sunday.
"I would say it was a process by the entire coaching staff. It really came down to about four names," disclosed Reyes.
"But in the end, you have to respect the decision of the coaches."