FIRST-time international campaigner Paul Lee along with Jared Dillinger earned spots in Gilas Pilipinas’ final 12 in a player roster released by national coach Chot Reyes on Wednesday for the Asian Games.
Lee, a 6-foot combo guard from Rain or Shine, more or less takes over the spot of 36-year-old pint-sized guard Jimmy Alapag, while the left-handed Dillinger supplanted injured shooter Larry Fonacier.
New naturalized slotman Andray Blatche was also listed, replacing old-hand Marcus Douthit, who had been through numerous international competitions for the original Smart Gilas team since 2010.
Also included were Jayson Castro, LA Tenorio, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, Ranidel de Ocampo, Marc Pingris, Japeth Aguilar and June Mar Fajardo.
Lee's inclusion in the Gilas squad was no surprise owing to the former University of the East guard's outstanding plays three weeks ago that helped the nationals to a bronze medal finish in the Fiba Asia Cup in Wuhan, China.
"2014 ASIAN GAMES roster:
Jayson, LA, Gary, Paul, Jeff, JD, Gabe, Ranidel, Marc
Japeth, Junmar, Andray.
#LabanPilipinasPUSO!" Reyes posted on his official Twitter account @coachot on Wednesday.
Lee averaged 12.0 points on 50 percent shooting from the three-point zone, adding the backcourt size Gilas needed to combat Asia's other big guards in the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
It is still not known why Reyes chose to announce the roster for the Asiad before the Fiba World Cup's official lineup. The world championships will kick off on August 30 in Spain, while the Asian Games is scheduled to start in September 19.
But insiders believe Reyes will stick with the Gilas team that finished second to Iran in the Fiba Asia championship for the World Cup, meaning Alapag will get a call-up for Spain but will likely miss out on the Asian Games in Incheon.