Panlilio on new Gilas pool: "This will be one of the best teams we would ever form"

Poy Erram and Ian Sangalang headline a talented big man rotation for Gilas in the fifth window. PBA Media Group
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio feels ecstatic about the national team pool for the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

"I think this will be one of the best teams if not the best team that we would ever form to represent the Philippines in international competitions," said Panlilio on Tuesday night following the announcement of the pool at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

[Related Story: 18 elites, 2 cadets make up Gilas' WCQ Window 5 pool]

While spitfire guard Terrence Romeo and naturalized center Andray Blatche were interestingly not included, the pool remains loaded with talent and the needed heft to compete against Kazakhstan and Iran respectively.

Magnolia's Ian Sangalang, San Miguel's Junemar Fajardo and Chris Standhardinger, Ginebra's Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter, Rain Or Shine's Beau Belga, and Blackwater's Poy Erram will man up the interior in what could be the tallest frontline rotation a Philippine national pool ever had.

Also to watch out are the veteran smarts of Hotshot Paul Lee and Barangay Ginebra's LA Tenorio, while NorthPort Batang Pier Stanley Pringle is expected to deliver his explosiveness.

Beerman Marcio Lassiter and Phoenix Fuel Master Matt Wright look to light it up from long range, while Barangay Ginebra's Scottie Thompson will provide the energy off the hustle.

Joining the fray are Gilas Cadets Ricci Rivero and Kai Sotto, who also have the talents and the upsides that they can further develop during the training camp that will begin on Monday night.

For Panlilio, who is also the governor of Meralco in the Philippine Basketball Association, Coach Yeng Guiao should be lauded for it.

"Both the PBA and the SBP support the proposal of Coach Yeng Guiao," Panlilio further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno