THE PHILIPPINES has finalized the composition of relatively wing-heavy men’s basketball team for the coming Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar that is without the college stars picked in the last PBA rookie draft.
According to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the final lineup will be composed of naturalized Marcus Douthit, Gilas cadets Kevin Alas, Jake Pascual, Ronald Pascual, Garvo Lanete, and Matt Ganuelas, and college stars Bobby Ray Parks, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Ferrer, Jericho Cruz, Prince Caperal, and Mark Belo.
The original 19-man pool was pruned down to 12 following the decision to drop UAAP Most Valuable Player Terrence Romeo, Raymund Almazan, and RR Garcia - three first-round picks in Sunday's PBA draft.
Another notable omission was De La Salle star Arnold Van Opstal.
The men’s team will be defending the title in the SEA Games men’s basketball competition which the country has dominated since its inception in 1977, losing the gold just once in 1989 to Malaysia.
Among the current members of the team, only Jake Pascual, Parks, Lanete, and Ravena are part of the 2011 Sinag Pilipinas squad coached by Norman Black that won the gold medal in Indonesia.
Douthit was fresh from his stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba-Asia Championship where the nationals clinched a berth in the 2014 Fiba World Cup behind their runner-up finish to Iran.