Former Gilas pool members Grey, Guinto willing to help out as practice players
Jonathan Grey drops by Gilas practice on Monday night. Jan Ballesteros

JONATHAN Grey and Bradwyn Guinto watched from the sidelines of the Meralco Gym as Gilas Pilipinas stepped up its buildup for the Jones Cup on Monday night.

The two players were originally part of the Gilas pool but had to be dropped after trades to GlobalPort left the team over the 'one veteran player per team' contribution to the national team.

But that didn't stop the two from dropping by on a rainy Monday night, and both expressed hope that they could don the Pilipinas jersey again - even as practice players.

"Yes of course, who doesn't (want to play for the country)? I really wanna practice nga e. I should have brought my clothes," said Guinto with a smile.

"I texted sir Butch (Antonio, Gilas team manager) na if they need extra bodies,  just let me know... I'm just waiting for a call-up," he added.

[See Jeron Teng heads straight to Gilas practice from D-League game]

Grey echoed his sentiments.

In fact, it was the former Meralco player who invited Guinto to show up in Monday's practice despite the heavy rain.

"Gusto ko talaga," said Grey. "Kung pwede lang e, pero hindi ko alam. Binista ko lang talaga sila." 

"Syempre sayang e. Iba rin naman yung nagre-represent ka ng country. Masaya maglaro dito." 

While there was an itch to hop on the court and join the drills designed for the national team's signature dribble-drive offense, it's just impossible for the two to be part of the pool now. 

"For now wala kasi even if we want to, their mother team is not going to allow them dahil one veteran lang per team, di ba?" Gilas coach Chot Reyes said.

But like former La Salle star Jeron Teng, Guinto and Grey are also welcome to train with the national team whenever they want to.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros