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Guiao set to announce "Final 12" after Friday practice

The final lineup will be announced right after practice. Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Even if the eligibility case of Jordan Clarkson is pending as of posting, Coach Yeng Guiao is still keen to announce the "chosen dozen" that will represent the Philippines in the Asian Games later Friday.

"Yeah, after practice," Guiao simply said at the Meralco Gym prior to the start of the daily practice of the Smart-backed Gilas squad.

He already said that the Rain Or Shine core of James Yap, Beau Belga, Chris Tiu, Maverick Ahanmisi, Gabe Norwood, and Raymond Almazan, Chris Standhardinger, Stanley Pringle, and Paul Lee are shoo-ins to the final roster with the remaining spots to be announced.

The said players, along with Asi Taulava, Poy Erram, Don Trollano, and Ricci Rivero, the four players vying to make the final cut, are present in practice, basically meaning that all the remaining players in the active pool are in attendance. Lee, however, was relegated to an observer role due to an apparently lingering pain on his right knee.

Making up for Lee's unavailability to join the practice proper is NLEX's Mac-Mac Tallo, who was called up by Yeng as the guest practice player for the Friday session.

Guiao initially scheduled the announcement of the Final 12 on Thursday night, but because of the surprise development that Clarkson's name was actually included in the submitted lineup, Guiao eventually decided to postpone the announcement by a day.

The Asian Games Organizing Committee is currently deliberating the eligibility of all the players that will play, but Guiao is ready to reserve Clarkson a shoo-in spot if he gets approved.

"Kung wala kang binigay na slot tapos pinayagan siya, di rin siya makakalaro," said Guiao.

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