Chot Reyes explains decision to leave out Allein Maliksi from Fiba Asia Cup lineup
Star Hotshots forward Allein Maliksi was left out of the Gilas team to the Fiba Asia Cup. Jerome Ascano

GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes admitted he was left without a choice but to choose one between the two Star Hotshots players in the Gilas Pilipinas pool for the team bound for the Fiba Asia Cup next month.

Allein Maliksi and Jio Jalalon were both part of the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship squad last May, but Reyes was forced to choose the latter based on who they needed more in the Lebanon showcase.

The return of utility man Gabe Norwood somehow made gunner Maliksi expendable.

“In the Fiba Asia, we had to make a decision between him and Jio,” Reyes said after practice on Thursday night. “And we felt we needed Jio more especially since we're getting Gabe Norwood in anyway.”

[See Blatche, Maliksi out, Standhardinger, Cruz in for Fiba Asia Cup team]

Still, Reyes would’ve loved to have Maliksi back, so much so that he would've wanted him in the Southeast Asian Games roster.

“We wanted to put him in the SEA Games lineup but we were asked not to put him in there first,” Reyes said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos