WITH the UAAP basketball tournament ongoing, national youth head coach Jamike Jarin is finding it hard tapping players to suit up for the Philippine team in the Fiba-Asia Under-18 Championship.
Jarin, though, remains hopeful other players will commit to the national for the August 19-28 competition in Doha, Qatar, even if the event will conflict with the schedule of the UAAP tournament.
The national coach said only eight players have so far committed to play, while awaiting word from the others as to whether they will be cleared by their schools or not.
According to Jarin, only Radge Tongco and Andre Caracut of San Beda, Aaron Black of Ateneo, Paul Desiderio of University of the Philippines, Richard Escoto of Far Eastern University, Mark Dyke of National University, Jollo Go of Hope Christian School, and Leonard Santillan of University of Visayas are sure to play for the youth squad.
Of the eight in the list, only Tongco and Escoto are in their respective lineups for their college teams this season.
Jarin refused to mention names of players not cleared by their respective schools, but sources told Spin.ph Henri Asilum of UP and Renzo Subido of UST were a few of those not allowed by their schools.
Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo is also still being eyed to play for the Under-18 team, the source added.
Jarin refused to dwell on the situation but said he is ready for any eventuality.
“It’s a sensitive issue right now because it’s the UAAP. I’m still hoping and praying. We just hope for the best,” he said.
“I understand (the situation). It’s a hard decision for them,” said Jarin, regarding the decision of players not to suit up for FIBA-Asia meet.
Left with such scenario, Jarin stressed he doesn’t mind having only 10 players for the tournament, which will be held days after the Fiba-Asia Under-17 World Championship.
“We are okay if we have 10 players,” said Jarin.