THE Gilas Pilipinas 3x3 pool is down to seven players as head coach Ronnie Magsanoc begins to evaluate who will make the final roster for the Southeast Asian Games.
Only six out of the 12 originally named to the pool were present during Monday’s night practice at the Meralco Gym, with Magsanoc saying that the remaining players in Terrence Romeo, CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, Mo Tautuaa, Jason Perkins, and Chris Newsome still vying for the four spots in the team.
Mac Belo was absent during the practice but Magsanoc said he is still part of the pool.
“It’s a collective decision,” said Magsanoc, referring to the remaining players in the pool. “First time we met, sinabi namin clearly na we have to make initial cuts dahil maiksi lang ang window.”
Those who are no longer part of the pool are Baser Amer, Chris Banchero, Ian Sangalang, Raymond Almazan, and Anthony Semerad.
Romeo attended his first practice with the 3x3 team on Monday night after an illness prevented him from joining the team’s preparation for the SEA Games.
Magsanoc admitted he finds the selection of the final line-up difficult with the caliber of the players in the pool.
“Anybody can make the team. Nung nakita ko, sabi ko sino kukunin ko diyan. The best evaluation is to see them. On paper, may shoo-in. Kapag nakita mo, babalasahin mo, titingnan mo kung sino puwedeng magkakasama, ‘yung tamang taas, kayang dumepensa. It’s not necessarily the best talent who will make it. Three-man game eh, kailangan mautak kayo kasi you can’t coach them that’s why preparation is essential. Kailangan may leader,” Magsanoc said.
"We will try our best to evaluate in the most fair, collective decision possible," he added.