GILAS Pilipinas on Monday bared its 16-man pool for the 2015 Fiba Asia men's championship that include three players from the San Miguel Corp. bloc, namely San Miguel big man June Mar Fajardo, Barangay Ginebra's LA Tenorio and Star's Marc Pingris.
By becoming part of the pool released by the PBA, the three players previously listed as doubtful for the Asian Olympic qualifier in Changsha, China in September will now be available for selection for the final 12-man lineup once available, PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial said.
Marcial said all three have the green light from the SMC group to join the national team, insisting officials of the conglomerate have never gotten in the way of their players' involvement in Gilas.
"You can quote me, hindi pinipigilan ng San Miguel ang mga players nila na sumama sa Gilas," Marcial said. "Depende talaga sa player kung available or not."
Marcial also qualified that the 16-man pool makes up the players committed by the PBA to Gilas and it is up to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to add more players to the pool, including naturalized player Andray Blatche.
Another option is Gilas cadet Troy Rosario, who has been joining Gilas training as a practice player but has indicated that he wants to make the regular team.
The rest of the members of the pool that have been practicing since Wednesday were Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Mat Ganuelas Rosser, Kelly Williams, Asi Taulava, Terrence Romeo, Aldrech Ramos, Gary David, JC Intal, Gabe Norwood, Sonny Thoss, Dondon Hontiveros, and Calvin Abueva.
Abueva, who saw action in the last Fiba 3x3 World Tour leg in Manila, is set to join the national team practice for the first time on Monday night.
Jimmy Alapag, who had joined the Gilas practice since it started on Wednesday and had indicated he was ready to come out of retirement if needed, was not part of the pool but can still be inserted into the lineup since he doesn't need clearance from the league to join the team.
Marcial said the PBA has no word on the status of Alapag, who is also part of national coach Tab Baldwin's staff as an assistant.
PBA commissioner Chito Salud also clarified that the list of available players can grow, depending on the availability of players over the next few days.
"In our desire to form the best national team ..., the PBA is endorsing to SBP an initial list of players," Salud said. "Should there be additional names in the next few days, we will immediately inform the SBP."
Everything should clear up on Monday night when the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) holds a press conference on the country's bid to win the hosting rights for the 2019 basketball World Cup.
Questions about the Gilas composition are expected to be answered in the forum.