Leaving out Jeron Teng, La Salle teammates from Gilas cadet team purely a 'coach's decision,' says SBP
La Salle stars Jeron Teng and Arnold Van Opstal were both left out of the Gilas cadet team that will compete in the Seaba tournament. Jerome Ascano

THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) broke its silence on Jeron Teng and his La Salle teammates' exclusion from the Gilas cadet team to two regional tournaments this year, saying it was purely a 'coaches’ decision.'

SBP deputy executive director for external affairs Butch Antonio said they left the selection of the players for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (Seaba) and SEA Games team in the hands of head coach Tab Baldwin and his coaching staff.

“Everybody worked hard but it was a coaches’ decision that they had to make because deadlines were set by Seaba (as to the submission of the lineup),” Antonio told Spin.ph on Wednesday.

“He knows what’s best for the team,” added Antonio, referring to Baldwin.

[See Jeron Teng, La Salle teammates fail to make Philippine team to Seaba]

The decision to leave out Teng, La Salle teammates Arnold Van Opstal and Prince Rivero, as well as San Beda star Baser Amer came as a surprise to fans who thought the four were shoo-ins to Baldwin's lineup.

Van Opstal was eventually included in the team bound for the SEA Games set June 5-16.

Antonio preferred to stick to the positives of the selection process, thanking all stakeholders who helped in the formation of the team from the tryouts to the eventual naming of the final 12.

At the end of the day, Antonio said the coaches had to make the tough decision to cut someone.

“All the parties, from the college teams to the PBA D-League teams, were very cooperative and supportive in forming the team,” said Antonio.

The final 12 for the Seaba were Mac Belo, Marcus Douthit, Kevin Ferrer, Jiovanni Jalalon, Glenn Khobuntin, Bobby Ray Parks, Kiefer Ravena, Troy Rosario, Scottie Thompson, Norbert Torres, Almond Vosotros, and Russel Escoto.

Van Opstal will take the place of Escoto in the SEA Games.

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