Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023

Gilas Pilipinas’ Last 12 for the Fiba World Cup.

MANILA, Philippines — The brand new-look Gilas Pilipinas, composed of NBA star Jordan Clarkson and a mixture of veterans and the present prime gamers within the nation, may have an opportunity to defend the nation’s dwelling courtroom and chase an Olympic dream within the Fiba World Cup 2023.

These 12 males and their coaches will signify the nation in its historic internet hosting of the largest basketball spectacle for the primary time in 45 years because the Filipinos attempt to defy the percentages in Group A in opposition to the Karl-Anthony Cities-led Dominican Republic, Angola, and powerhouse Italy.

Gilas Pilipinas just isn’t solely searching for to achieve the subsequent spherical–which it hasn’t completed within the final two World Cup appearances–but in addition is setting its sights on changing into the most effective Asian staff to guide an outright ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The Philippines trimmed down its 16-man pool to the Last 12 on Wednesday with Ray Parks Jr., one of many steadiest scorers of Gilas up to now tournaments, Thirdy Ravena, Chris Newsome, and Calvin Oftana not making the minimize.

Pool members Carl Tamayo, Jordan Heading, and Poy Erram already begged off as a consequence of their respective accidents, whereas naturalized gamers Justin Brownlee and Ange Kouame have accepted that Clarkson will signify the nationals after their dedication and big contributions to this system.

Get to know the Last 12 gamers and the coaches of Gilas Pilipinas for the World Cup.

Jordan Clarkson

Jordan Clarkson. –FIBA

Jordan Clarkson is again for one more tour of obligation for Gilas Pilipinas in his largest marketing campaign but.

The Utah Jazz star will function the nation’s naturalized participant in his third look for the nationwide staff after the 2018 Asian Video games and in final yr’s Asian Qualifier window in August in opposition to Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

Clarkson hopes to choose up the place he left off after averaging 25.0 factors, 6.5 assists, and 5.5 rebounds in his final two video games for Gilas.

Clarkson is probably the most adorned naturalized participant of Gilas. He was the 2021 NBA Sixth Man of the Yr and have become a part of the 2015 All-Rookie first staff when he was nonetheless with the Los Angeles Lakers. He additionally performed within the 2018 NBA Finals with the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers.

The 31-year-old guard received’t be the one NBA participant in Group A with the likes of Minnesota Timberwolves standout Karl-Anthony Cities of the Dominican Republic and Atlanta Hawks massive man Bruno Fernando of Angola additionally boosting their respective nations.

Clarkson’s Jazz teammate Simone Fontecchio may also lead Italy, which battles Gilas on August 27 at Araneta Coliseum.

June Mar Fajardo

June Mar Fajardo. –FIBA

June Mar Fajardo is making his third look within the World Cup as he continues to be one among Gilas Pilipinas’ cornerstones.

Fajardo was a part of the Gilas program in 2013 when the Philippines booked a return journey to the World Cup after a 36-year wait. He helped Gilas notch its first win over Senegal within the 2014 World Cup in Seville, Spain.

Fajardo additionally performed for the nationwide staff in its winless marketing campaign in 2019 in China.

Aside from being a World Cup veteran, the 6-foot-10 heart additionally represented Gilas within the Southeast Asian Video games twice, successful the gold in 2019 in Manila and settling for silver in Vietnam final yr. An damage prevented him from suiting up for a 3rd straight SEA Video games stint.

The 33-year-old nationwide staff campaigner has received six PBA Most Beneficial Gamers and 9 championships for the San Miguel Beermen, who drafted him as the primary general decide within the 2012 rookie draft.

Dwight Ramos

Dwight Ramos. –FIBA

A testomony to his unwavering dedication to the nationwide staff, Dwight Ramos was the lone Gilas participant to swimsuit up in all six Asian Qualifier home windows.

And the Filipino-American guard was one among Gilas’ prime gamers, too, within the qualifiers, averaging 12.4 factors. 6.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and a pair of.1 steals by 10 video games.

Ramos appears to be like to maintain his kind in his first ever look within the Fiba World Cup.

He performed two seasons within the B.League, taking part in for the Toyama Grouses in his first yr from 2021-22 and continued his Japan stint with the Levanga Hokkaido final season.

Jamie Malonzo

Jamie Malonzo. –FIBA

Since getting the inexperienced mild to play as an area, Jamie Malonzo has been serving the Gilas Pilipinas effectively that paved manner for his World Cup debut.

The 6-foot-7 ahead, who obtained his eligibility to play as an area in June final yr, has been a strong addition to the lads’s basketball staff program within the second spherical of the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.

The high-flying Barangay Ginebra winger performed within the final six video games of the Gilas home windows, posting 5.8 factors and a pair of.5 rebounds.

He was additionally strong within the current buildups of the Philippines forward of the World Cup beginning on August 25.

Malonzo, who was once a one-and-done for La Salle within the UAAP Season 82 in 2019 and have become a part of the legendary staff, was drafted by Northport within the 2020 PBA Draft. He emerged as a member of the PBA All-Rookie staff two years in the past earlier than he acquired traded to Ginebra final season and received the 2022-23 Commissioner’s Cup in opposition to the Bay Space Dragons.

Kai Sotto

Kai Sotto. –FIBA

Kai Sotto makes his World Cup debut regardless of his current absence as a consequence of his again damage from the NBA Summer time League.

The 7-foot-3 heart missed the Europe camp as a consequence of his NBA Summer time League stint with the Orlando Magic and the China pocket event as he acquired sidelined by again spasms. He rejoined the staff in its last preparation in Manila the place it confronted Ivory Coast, Montenegro, and Mexico in friendlies.

The 21-year-old Sotto began his senior nationwide staff stint within the 2020 Fiba Olympic Qualifying Event in Belgrade, Serbia and within the  2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in Indonesia. He solely performed two video games within the World Cup Asian qualifiers, the place he averaged 13 factors and 10.5 rebounds per match.

It will likely be his first World Cup look as a senior participant as he and AJ Edu represented the nation within the beneath 19 division 4 years in the past.

Sotto performed two seasons for the Adelaide 36ers in Australia’s Nationwide Basketball League earlier than heading to Japan early this yr, serving to the Hiroshima Dragonflies within the latter a part of the B.League season.

The undrafted massive man from the 2022 NBA Rookie Draft performed two video games within the Summer time League in Las Vegas, posting a mean of three.0 factors, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and 1.0 help in 10.8 minutes per sport.

AJ Edu


AJ Edu seeks to finish his main comeback from a number of knee accidents that sidelined him from the nationwide staff in his first World Cup stint.

The 6-foot-10 massive man has been instrumental within the current friendlies and coaching camp of Gilas since returning to his nationwide staff duties after struggling a torn ACL and torn meniscus in his proper knee together with a hairline fracture on his proper femur within the Underneath-19 World Cup 4 years in the past.

Edu sustained one other knee damage in November 2020 whereas training for the College of Toledo males’s basketball staff lately.

The 23-year-old heart may have an opportunity to assist Gilas Pilipinas in dealing with Dominican Republic’s Karl-Anthony Cities in Group A together with Italy and Angola, which has NBA massive man Bruno Fernando.

Edu can also be sure for Japan within the subsequent B.League season after signing with the Toyama Grouses.

CJ Perez

CJ Perez. –FIBA

CJ Perez was one of many silver linings within the Gilas Pilipinas’ winless 2019 World Cup marketing campaign as he debuted on the worldwide stage with a mean of 12.6 factors, 3.2 rebounds, and a pair of.6 assists in 5 video games in China.

A wiser and stronger Perez is out to assist the Philippines surpass its earlier two World Cup appearances in entrance of its dwelling crowd after rising as San Miguel Beermen’s key participant within the current PBA season the place they received the the 2022 Philippine Cup.

The 2019 PBA Rookie of the Yr and Legendary First Group, who was traded from Terrafirma to San Miguel, additionally helped Gilas regain its gold medal within the 2023 Southeast Asian Video games in Cambodia.

The 29-year-old Perez performed 4 Asian Qualifiers video games, averaging 8.3 factors, 2.5 assists, and a pair of.0 rebounds.

Scottie Thompson

Scottie Thompson. –FIBA

Scottie Thompson provides his first World Cup look to his rising PBA profession.

The Barangay Ginebra star has confirmed himself as one of many prime gamers of the PBA in the present day by successful the 2021 PBA MVP and 7 PBA championships together with two Finals MVP trophies.

The do-it-all guard additionally proved that he also can thrive on the worldwide stage after taking part in six video games within the second spherical of the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers, averaging 6.2 factors, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists.

Thompson vowed to do higher after his final Fiba window sport didn’t finish effectively after lacking the essential free throws in Gilas’ 91-90 loss to Jordan at Philippine Enviornment final February that put his nine-point, seven-rebound, seven-assist outing to waste.

Thompson injured his hand in the course of the Gilas’ Europe camp and returned within the last preparation of the staff earlier than the World Cup, vowing to go away all the things on the ground for the Philippines.

Japeth Aguilar

Japeth Aguilar. –FIBA

Japeth Aguilar is set to steer by instance to his teammates because the staff captain on this yr’s World Cup.

He’s the longest-tenured nationwide staff participant on the roster as he has been a part of this system since Gilas 1 was fashioned in 2009.

The 6-foot-9 ahead was additionally a part of the Gilas staff in 2013 that introduced again the nation to the World Cup after 36 years and campaigned in Seville, Spain the yr after. 

The 36-year-old Aguilar additionally noticed motion within the 2019 World Cup in China and received the Southeast Asian Video games gold in the identical yr.

The Barangay Ginebra massive man, who performed 4 video games within the Asian qualifier with a mean of seven.5 factors and a pair of.8 rebounds, could possibly be making his final dance in his attainable third straight world stint.

Aguilar has been taking part in for the Gin Kings for a decade, successful eight championships, the 2019 Governors’ Cup Finals MVP, three Legendary first-team picks, and as many All-Defensive Group recognitions, in addition to two Legendary second staff.

Kiefer Ravena

Kiefer Ravena. –FIBA

Identified for his dedication to taking part in for the flag, Kiefer Ravena appears to be like to carry out higher in his second World Cup stint.

The 29-year-old level guard has performed for Gilas on a number of events together with the World Cup in 2019 and received 5 Southeast Asian Video games medals solely to accept silver in final yr’s biennial meet in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Though in 2018 he was suspended by Fiba from taking part in basketball for 18 months after testing optimistic for banned substances, Ravena proved that he was nonetheless prepared to hold the flag along with his first World Cup stint in China.

The previous Ateneo stalwart led the Philippines within the Fiba Asia Cup final yr and performed six video games within the World Cup qualifiers, the place he posted 6.2 factors and a pair of.5  assists in 5 video games.

Ravena, who was drafted by the NLEX Street Warriors because the second general decide within the 2017 PBA draft, has been taking part in in Japan for the previous two seasons with the Shiga Lakes, who will probably be relegated to the Division 2 beginning this yr. 

Rhenz Abando

Rhenz Abando. –FIBA

Rhenz Abando’s rise continues because the World Cup turns into his subsequent vacation spot.

The 25-year-old winger has been making his presence felt within the Gilas build-ups coming off a championship run within the Korean Basketball League with Anyang KGC.

The participant from La Union launched his identify to Philippine basketball when he had a powerful rookie yr for College of Santo Tomas in 2019 reaching the UAAP Season 82 finals solely to be a one-and-done after the notorious Sorsogon bubble in the course of the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

He took his act to Letran and stamped his class rising because the Season 97 MVP, Rookie of the Yr, and Legendary 5 member on prime of the Knights’ good title run earlier than deciding to play in South Korea.

Abando represented the nation within the Fiba Asia Cup and solely performed two video games within the World Cup qualifier within the first spherical, the place he averaged 6.5 factors.

Roger Pogoy

Roger Pogoy. –FIBA

Roger Pogoy seeks to finish his unfinished enterprise after an underwhelming efficiency within the World Cup 4 years in the past.

The TNT shooter is making his second World Cup look and seeking to bounce again from his struggles on the worldwide stage in China final 2019 when he solely averaged 4.0 factors in 5 video games.

The Far Jap College product averaged 9.0 factors, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in 4 video games in the course of the Asian qualifier.

Pogoy, the 2017 PBA Rookie of the Yr, is a two-time champion together with TNT’s newest title run within the Governors’ Cup.

Coach Chot Reyes

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ELVIS ZALDARIS.

Chot Reyes seeks to surpass his earlier World Cup stint in Seville, Spain, the place the staff led by Jayson Castro and Jimmy Alapag pushed its opponents to its limits regardless of successful just one sport.

In his second World Cup stint, the seasoned coach is eyeing to achieve the second spherical and emerge as the most effective Asian staff to guide an outright ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Reyes steered Gilas to a silver within the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship to return to the world stage after 36 years.

After the notorious Gilas-Australia brawl in 2018, Reyes returned as Gilas coach in January final yr, changing Tab Baldwin.

The nine-time PBA champion coach and six-time Coach of the Yr was calling the photographs when the Philippines misplaced its SEA Video games gold in Hanoi, Vietnam final yr however he and the Justin Brownlee-led Gilas bounced again this yr to reclaim their misplaced glory in Cambodia.

Coach Tim Cone

Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach Tim Cone. –PBA IMAGES

Tim Cone, probably the most profitable PBA coach, will probably be on the aspect of Reyes when Gilas tries to defy the percentages within the World Cup.

The Barangay Ginebra coach, who’s the winningest within the PBA with 25 titles together with two Grand Slams, rejoined the nationwide staff within the Asian qualifier to spice up this system.

The 65-year-old Cone used to name the photographs for the nationwide staff, successful the bronze with the Philippine Centennial staff within the 1998 Asian Video games and ruling the 2019 SEA Video games in Manila.

Cone additionally served as an assistant on the Miami Warmth workers at NBA Summer time League in 2022.

Coach Jong Uichico

Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach Jong Uichico. –INQUIRER FILE

Jong Uichico has been a part of Reyes’ teaching workers since 2013 when the Philippines ended a 36-year World Cup drought of their runner-up end within the Fiba Asia Championship in Manila.

Uichico, who can also be making his second World Cup marketing campaign, referred to as the photographs for the nationwide staff within the 2002 Asian Video games the place they completed fourth.

He steered the nation to 2 SEA Video games golds in 2013 and 2017 and was additionally a part of the nationwide teaching workers up to now two biennial meets with silver and gold finishes in Vietnam and Cambodia, respectively.

The 61-year-old tactician is a nine-time PBA champion and two-time Coach of the Yr with San Miguel, Ginebra, and TNT.

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