The 14-man roster of the Philippine basketball team that will compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in the Manila leg this July was finally revealed.
Gilas Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio made the announcement via a social networking site, hours after the Nationals defeated Iran in a friendly match at the MOA Arena on Wednesday night.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche was of course a shoo-in in the pool along with San Miguel big man June Mar Fajardo and TalkNText guard Jayson Castro. Other players who made the cut are: Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio, Marc Pingris, Ranidel de Ocampo, Troy Rosario, Ray Parks, Calvin Abueva, Gabe Norwood, Jeff Chan, Terrence Romeo, and Ryan Reyes.
Only Marcio Lassiter did not make the lineup. The SMB gunner practiced sparingly with the team due to a leg injury that he sustained in the PBA Commissioner's Cup. He then suffered from bronchitis which caused him to miss the joint-training session with Iran and the tune-up game on Wednesday.
The 14 selected players will fly to Greece on Friday for a 10-day high-altitude training camp. They will also have a friendly match with Turkey national team. Then, they will head to Italy for a four-nation pocket tourney where they will face the national teams of Canada, China, and the host country.
After the European stint, the roster will be further trimmed to 12 in time for the tournament in Manila that will tip off on July 5 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Gilas Pilipinas will take on France and New Zealand in the preliminary round.