FROM the 15 players currently gathered at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna will come the Gilas Pilipinas team that will be tasked to reclaim the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) basketball gold medal in Cambodia.
No more, no less.
Naturalized player Justin Brownlee and Barangay Ginebra teammates Christian Standhardinger and Jeremiah Gray lead the 10 players from the PBA that will be available for selection for the final 12-man SEA Games lineup.
They are joined by CJ Perez, Chris Ross, and Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel, Calvin Oftana of TNT, Aaron Black and Chris Newsome of Meralco, Arvin Tolentino of NorthPort and Brandon Ganuelas Rosser of NLEX.
Four college players are also available for selection, namely Mason Amos of Ateneo, Jerom Lastimosa of Adamson, and brothers Ben and Michael Phillips of La Salle.
National coach Chot Reyes confirmed that he no longer expects any new additions, meaning a pool that started with 28 names will only have 15 available when the 12-man lineup is submitted to the SEA Games technical committee on May 7.
Unavailable players from the original pool, due to varying reasons, are June Mar Fajardo, Mikey Williams, Jamie Malonzo, Stanley Pringle, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, RR Pogoy, Poy Erram, Raymond Almazan, Kevin Alas, Schonny Winston, Kevin Quiambao, and US-based AJ Edu.
As limited as the lineup options are, it could've been worse: Gilas had to make do with just 10 players in its weekly practices that Reyes had to bring in volunteer Sean Anthony to have enough in scrimmages.
The arrival of Lassiter, Lastimosa, Gray, and Tolentino give Gilas a bit more flexibility in forming a team tasked to regain basketball supremacy in Southeast Asia, but Reyes is non-committal at this point.
"Hard to tell until we see the final lineups," Reyes warned, pointing out that the lax SEA Games eligibility rules enable teams like Indonesia, Thailand, and even Vietnam to bring in as many foreign-raised players as they want.