NATIONAL coach Tab Baldwin is bent on forming a tall team that can run, judging from the players on his wish list for the Gilas Pilipinas 3.0 side bound for the Fiba Asia men's championship in China.
Relying on information from people who had seen the list, Spin.ph was able to compile the names of the players most likely in the pool Baldwin submitted to PBA commissioner Chito Salud - a 26-player lineup that includes all of the members of the last Gilas team sprinkled with a mix of veterans and rising stars.
Putting accent on size, the American-New Zealander has most of the best big men from the pro league like June Mar Fajardo, Gregory Slaughter, Sonny Thoss, Raymond Almazan, Japeth Aguilar, Ranidel De Ocampo, Beau Belga and 42-year-old Asi Taulava.
“Tab wants to form a tall lineup so we will not have a hard time matching up with other countries like Iran and China,” said the source. “Of course, we wanted to keep the running style of our first two Gilas teams kasi it proved to be effective in some of our games before.”
To complement the ‘running bigs,’ Baldwin has also tapped agile wingmen like Marc Pingris, Aldrech Ramos, Gabe Norwood, Matt Ganuelas Rosser, Kelly Williams, Jeff Chan, Jarred Dillinger and Cliff Hodge.
The inclusion of Hodge, however, remains in question as his clearance to play in Fiba-sanctioned tournaments like the one in Changsha, Hunan, China in September is still being checked by officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) with the world basketball body.
Completing the list are two-guards Terrence Romeo, Jayson Castro, Dondon Hontiveros, Marcio Lassiter, Gary David, Larry Fonacier and defensive sentinel Ryan Reyes and point guards Terrence Romeo, LA Tenorio, Mark Barroca and Paul Lee.
Some members of the previous national team that saw action in the Fiba World Cup in Seville, Spain last year like Belga, sources said, might no longer be on the ‘priority list’ but will be given the chance to prove their worth during the tryouts owing to their experience.
Among the notable omissions are former league MVP Arwind Santos of San Miguel Beer, Calvin Abueva and Alaska teammate JVee Casio.
Another information reaching Spin.ph bared that Gilas cadets who won gold in the last Southeeast Asian Games in Singapore, namely Troy Rosario andGlenn Khobuntin, will also be given invitations alongside cadets mainstays Garvo Lanete and Bobby Ray Parks.
The list is expected to be announced by the PBA at the conclusion of the ongoing season-ending Governors Cup, which is already entering the semifinal phase.
However, the final list is bound to change since the inclusion of the players will depend on the approval of team owners who Baldwin has been meeting one by one since last month.
There are also plans to increase the 26-man pool to 32, but no final decision has so far been made by Baldwin and his coaching staff, which intends to begin training on August 1.
Under his initial plan, Baldwin wants to the players to undergo tryouts and sent to different international tournaments like the coming Jones Cup in Taiwan on August 29 to September 6.
Here's the Spin.ph list of the players on Baldwin's wish list:
1) Aldrech Ramos
2) Asi Taulava
3) Gregory Slaughter
4) Junemar Fajardo
5) Raymond Almazan
6) Marc Pingris
7) Japeth Aguilar
8) Paul Lee
9) Sonny Thoss
10) Dondon Hontiveros
11) Gabe Norwood
12) Ranidel De Ocampo
13) Beau Belga
14) Matt Ganuelas Rosser
15) Jeff Chan
16) Jayson Castro
17) Ryan Reyes
18) Jarred Dillinger
19) Terrence Romeo
20) Marcio Lassiter
21) Kelly Williams
22) Larry Fonacier
23) Gary David
24) LA Tenorio
25) Mark Barroca
26) Cliff Hodge
* Bobby Ray Parks
* Troy Rosario
* Glenn Khobuntin
* Garvo Lanete
*Amateur invitees and practice players