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Abueva, Tratter headline Gilas pool going to Melbourne

Calvin Abueva could be wearing the national team colors on Thursday after all. Denver Lachica (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

STA. ROSA, Laguna--Calvin Abueva may be playing in Melbourne after all.

Abueva, who was initially dropped from the Gilas pool for the second FIBA World Cup Qualifiers window by Coach Chot Reyes, will join the 14-player national team pool going to the Australian city for the final phase of its training ahead of the game against Australia on Thursday.

No less than Reyes himself announced the inclusion of the six-foot-three Alaska winger to the delegation on Twitter on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, Abu Tratter was a surprise addition to the team heading to Melbourne.

The Marinerong Pilipino forward has been regularly practicing with Gilas since he first attended training during the second practice of the second window, and Reyes included him to the delegation as the lone non-PBA player.

Joining the two are Jayson Castro, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Jio Jalalon, RR Pogoy, Matt Wright, Allein Maliksi, Gabe Norwood, Carl Cruz, Japeth Aguilar, Junemar Fajardo, and Andray Blatche.

The 14-man lineup will be the basis of the "Final 12" that will play on Thursday.

Troy Rosario and Mac Belo were cut from the pool due to health concerns.

Rosario, who hurt his chin following a bad fall a week and a half ago, was not cleared to play, while Belo, although returning to play over the weekend for Blackwater, is "still not 100%" according to Reyes.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno