SBP confirms Gilas stuck with 24-man lineup, but Baldwin still wants to talk to RoS over Almazan
The choices of Tab Baldwin and his staff on their Final 12 is limited to the players in the 24-man lineup initially submitted to Fiba, confirms SBP executive director Sonny Barrios. Jerome Ascano

TAB Baldwin is set to meet with management of Rain or Shine regarding the possibility of young big man Raymund Almazan joining Gilas Pilipinas.

In what capacity, the national coach would rather not comment at the moment.

“Until I speak with him, I don’t wanna comment any further,” when asked about the offer made by team co-owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que to lend the services of the lanky Rain or Shine center to a Gilas side that has been hobbled with injuries of late.

“I don’t think its worth an article until after I come out and say something about it.”

Baldwin also refused to comment about the Fiba ruling that only players included in the initial 24-man roster submitted by Gilas to the world governing body are eligible to take the place of injured players in the lineup, technically making Almazan ineligible to become part of the national team bound for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

“I will talk to Raymund Yu,” was Baldwin’s curt reply.

[See RoS offers Almazan to Gilas duty, but there's one problem]

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios did confirm the Fiba ruling is clear.

“Hindi na puwede. Sink or swim na tayo sa 24,” he said.

The 24-man Gilas lineup submitted by the SBP had Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Jayson Castro, Jeff Chan, Ranidel de Ocampo, June Mar Fajardo, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, Marc Pingris, Ryan Reyes, Terrence Romeo, Troy Rosario, Greg Slaughter, LA Tenorio, and Andray Blatche.

Mo Tautuaa is listed as back-up naturalized player, while among the Gilas cadets, those who made it were Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Russell Escoto, Kevin Ferrer, Bobby Ray Parks, and Roger Pogoy.

Only those from the 24-man lineup will be eligible to ne named to the final 12-man roster.

Even with the spate of injuries, Barrios stressed Gilas can’t insert any player to the lineup not coming from the 24-man list.

The SBP official also made it clear a corresponding fine will be paid in case of player replacement.

“But then again, sa Final 12 yun (the fine), and you could only get a player from the 24 you submitted earlier,” Barrios added. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos