11 Gilas Men head to Spain for pocket tourney

Junemar Fajardo will not be around when Gilas heads to Spain. Rick Dela Cruz (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

LIPA—Gilas Pilipinas Men is expected to play undermanned in a pocket tournament in Spain as only 11 players will make the trip.

Japeth Aguilar, Mark Barroca, Beau Belga, Andray Blatche, Robert Bolick, Poy Erram, Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, CJ Perez, Kiefer Ravena, and Matt Wright will make up the national team that will face Congo, Ivory Coast, and possibly Spain in the said tournament.

Gilas Men are to leave for Madrid Sunday morning.

However, Ravena can only observe the said games as his FIBA suspension is still not yet up, meaning Gilas Men will only 10 players actually in action.

Gilas Men could have put up a full roster, but Stanley Pringle begged off due to an injury and Raymond Almazan had his Spanish visa denied.

Junemar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and Chris Standhardinger are exempted as TNT and San Miguel will face off in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals that will start on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Gilas Men will surely play Congo and Ivory Coast as the Philippine nationals will play the African teams in a pair of tuneup games.

Gilas Men will play Congo again in the said pocket tournament with the winner facing the victor of the Ivory Coast-Spain game.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno