GILAS Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio said the plan to invite collegiate players led by Ateneo superstar Kiefer Ravena and Letran’s ace slotman Raymond Almazan is part of the national team’s goal of preparing the cadet pool for future international competitions.
On Sunday, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes said he plans to invite Ravena, Almazan, Ateneo’s Chris Newsome, Far Eastern University guard Terrence Romeo, National University’s Ray Parks, La Salle big man Arnold Van Opstal and University of Santo Tomas’ Kevin Ferrer to join the cadet pool.
“Terrence, Kiefer, RayRay, AVO, Newsome, Almazan, Ferrer will surely be invited to join Gilas Cadets. Gusto kaya nila o papayagan ba sila?” said Reyes on his Twitter account @coachchot.
The outspoken national mentor reiterated that he is merely inviting them and was quick to point out that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will all be on the final list of cadet players, which serves as the feeder program for the national team of mostly pro players.
“Chillax! I just said they'll be invited. I didn’t say it's a final list, or that sila lang,” said Reyes.
At present, there are six members in the national cadet team led by seven-footer Greg Slaughter, Kevin Alas, Far Eastern University guard RR Garcia, Matt Rosser Ganuelas, Ronald Pascual, and Garvo Lanete.
However, Slaughter and Almazan are expected to move up to the pro ranks in the next PBA rookie draft set in November.
Antonio mentioned that should these collegiate stars accept their invitation, they will then be included in the team that will most likely see action in this year’s Southeast Asian Games in Napyidaw, Myanmar, where the Philippines will be defending its basketball title.
Some of these cadet players could also be part of the national squad that will play in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, which will be held in the middle of September.
“Lalapitan natin sila (collegiate players) to invite them to join the cadet team. We can’t say which tournament for now but it could be a mix of cadet players and the pros siguro,” said Antonio.
“Ayaw naman natin sabihing itong tournament na ito pang cadet team lang or pang pro lang.”