JIO Jalalon has made it back to the Gilas Pilipinas pool ahead of the second qualifying window for the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China.
Jalalon, who sat out Gilas' first two matches in the first window against Chinese-Taipei and Japan due to injury, is back in the 15-man pool announced by national coach Chot Reyes on his Twitter account on Thursday.
Also named to the pool were mainstays Jayson Castro, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, RR Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Allein Maliksi, Gabe Norwood, Calvin Abueva, Carl Bryan Cruz, Mac Belo, Troy Rosario, Raymond Almazan, Japeth Aguilar, and June Mar Fajardo.
Just got clearance from PBA OIC Willie Marcial for Gilas to start its Monday only practices on Jan 8, 8pm. Back to work Blur, Kief, Kev, Jio, Pogs, Matt, Allein, Gabe, Calvin, CBC, Mac, Troy, Rakenrol, Japet, JMF #??????????????!— Chot Reyes (@coachot) January 4, 2018
Eleven players from this pool are expected to be joined by naturalized player Andray Blatche for a February 22 match against powerhouse Australia in Melbourne and a match at home to Japan on February 25.
The pool starts its Monday-only practices on January 8.
Almazan, Belo and Cruz were part of Reyes' pool during the first qualifying window but were ultimately left out of the Final 12.
Surprisingly, Reyes made little changes to his pool despite the reported lifting of an agreement within the PBA board that limited Gilas to one player and one cadet per team.
The lifting of the rule had raised hope that players like Paul Lee of Magnolia, Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel, and Greg Slaughter of Ginebra can be tapped for the pool.
However, the newly named 15-man pool still left out Lassiter and Co.
*The article has been updated, correcting an error in putting Kevin Ferrer in place of Kevin Alas