Core of "SEABA 12" retained for Blatche-less Gilas' "FIBA Asia 12"

Most of them will go to Lebanon, but Andray Blatche is among those who will be out. (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Nine of the members of Gilas' "SEABA 12" will once again don the national team colors for the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut from Aug. 8-20.

In an announcement by Coach Chot Reyes on social media on Tuesday night, TNT's Jayson Castro and RR Pogoy, GlobalPort's Terrence Romeo, Star's Jio Jalalon, Phoenix's Matt Wright, Alaska's Calvin Abueva, Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar, Rain Or Shine's Raymond Almazan, and San Miguel's Junemar Fajardo are among the SEABA team members who made the final list of players for Gilas in the said continental tournament.

The three other players who made the "FIBA Asia 12" are Almazan's fellow Elasto Painter Gabe Norwood, Alaska Ace Carl Cruz, and former Basketball Bundesliga star Chris Standhardinger.

Owing to security issues in Lebanon, long-time naturalized center Andray Blatche begged off from joining Gilas for the tournament, ensuring that Fajardo and Aguilar will get more minutes playing the center spot.

On the other hand, Reyes rewarded Cruz and Standhardinger's exploits in the Jones Cup with the FIBA Asia Cup lineup inclusion.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno