Gilas Pilipinas puts a premium on versatility for SEABA joust

Paul Lintag on Apr 29, 2017 02:07 PM
Gilas Pilipinas puts a premium on versatility for SEABA
Calvin Abueva and Troy Rosario lead a fleet of Gilas forwards as the national team puts a premium on flexibility and versatility for the 2017 SEABA Championships. (PBA Media Bureau)

LUCENA CITY --- Chot Reyes left no stone unturned for his final lineup in the upcoming 2017 SEABA Championships.

The national team head coach announced the new Gilas team at the Quezon Convention Center here Friday night, and in true Chot Reyes fashion, the Philippine squad is made up of players who can play at least two, maybe even three positions on the floor.

Reigning three-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo will anchor the front line together with naturalized center Andray Blatche and forward Japeth Aguilar. Raymond Almazan, who made the senior team for the first time, adds depth to the center position.

Reyes also filled the new Gilas with a fleet of versatile wings led by Calvin Abueva. Guys like Troy Rosario, Matthew Wright, Allein Maliksi, and RR Pogoy means that the Philippines will no shortage of size and shooting.

"This team is built on its flexibility and versatility," Reyes said.

"We know that in the international game, even the bigs can hit threes, so you have to be able to play defense and you have to be able to switch the ball screens and that’s the kind of lineup that we have," he added.

Finally, as with past tournaments, Gilas will have a short three-guard rotation on the backcourt with Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, and Jio Jalalon running the show.

"I think it's very balanced, it's very versatile. It has size, and it’s a great combinations of rookies and veterans, rookies to the Gilas system, to the PBA," Reyes said.

While the new Gilas team has been formed, Reyes made sure to point out the fact that this is not the "final 12" and instead, this new crew is only the "SEABA 12."

With the national team set to compete in the SEA Games later this year and the FIBA Asia Cup if it wins SEABA, Gilas will have to form at least two teams in the next couple of months.

"I don't want to call it the final 12 because this is the SEABA 12, and I told the players to keep working hard because if we win SEABA, we have the FIBA Asia, and then the Southeast Asian Games and the World Cup qualifiers to look forward to," Reyes said.

"For now, that is the SEABA 12," he added.



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