Old-timers hold edge as Gilas names 12-man lineup for Fiba Asia Challenge Cup
Roger Pogoy, Mac Belo, and Mike Tolomia are shoo-ins to the Gilas lineup. Jerome Ascano

WHO will make the final cut of the Iran-bound Gilas team?

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will announce the final roster on Thursday, but there are a few cagers who should be shoo-ins in head coach Josh Reyes' 12-man lineup.

Reyes said the players who played under his tutelage before have a great chance to make the final lineup of the team that will compete in the Fiba Asia Challenge Cup next month.

With Kiefer Ravena, Jio Jalalon, and Ray Parks skipping the September 9-18 conclave, considered shoo-ins are Gilas cadets mainstays like Mike Tolomia, Mac Belo, Kevin Ferrer, Roger Pogoy, and Russel Escoto.

[See Jalalon skipping Gilas stint to focus on Arellano title bid]

"We won't have the best talent coming in so we need to bring the group of guys who will be able to run the system well," said Reyes after the team's tuneup game against FEU on Wednesday.

"The defensive system is new to all of the players who played earlier that's why there were a lot of mistakes and questions on execution."

He added:"This is the first time most of them played under this defensive scheme. Again, we need to compensate because of our lack of height. So we need to rotate a lot."

[See Shorthanded Gilas struggles to beat FEU in tune-up]

“We need to play a lot of tune-up games para makapa system. Especially CJ (Isit) and Jonathan Grey who we expect a lot of decision making to come from," said Reyes. 

The team also finally gets to train regularly as the D-League Foundation Cup ends.

"Finally on Friday we will be all good to go and just focus on the coming tournament. We will no longer juggle between PBA D-League schedules," he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros