FORMER national coach Rajko Toroman believes the Philippines has one of the deepest talent pools in Asia, so much so that Gilas coach Chot Reyes can't go with his selections for the team vying in the Fiba-Asia championships in Manila this August.
The talent base in the pro league is so deep, in fact, that Toroman believes the PBA is capable of forming up to four equally strong Gilas teams.
“You have a lot of talent here, in fact there are 40 players that can play for the national team," the well-travelled Serbian coach told Spin.ph. "That’s the luxury of the Philippines."
Toroman, who took Iran's team all the way to the Olympics, said there is no point comparing the well of talent in the Philippines with that of the rising basketball powers in the Middle East.
“In Iran, you only have six main guys and that’s it. In Jordan, six or seven guys," said Toroman. "But here, you have a huge pool. It’s up to the new coach who he will invite."
The Serb went on to rattle off the names of top guards in the PBA who he feels can shoulder the playmaking load for Gilas, mentioning Jason Castro, Jimmy Alapag, LA Tenorio, Alex Cabagnot, Mark Caguioa, Gabe Norwood, Paul Lee, and JV Casio.
There are “also tough wingmen, who can always excel in international competitions."
But when asked who would he pick if he is to form the 2013 Gilas team, Toroman clammed up: “I don’t want to talk about it, it’s up to the new coach. My thoughts (on that issue) are no longer important now."
Toroman’s Gilas Pilipinas successor, Reyes, will announce the national players who will be tasked to fly the flag in the August 1-11 tournament serving as a qualifier for next year's world championships in Spain.
Toroman believes the Philippines should be among the Top 3 contenders, being the host of the tournament, alongside defending champion China and 2012 Fiba-Asia Cup king Iran.