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Gilas Men's 'hybrid' pool for FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers February window revealed

As anticipated, the first five picks of last year's PBA Draft are in the Gilas Men pool for the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers first window. Nikki Collantes (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

LUCENA—SBP president Al Panlilio was true to his words when he said that Gilas Pilipinas Men could parade a "hybrid" lineup in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers when indeed a fusion of young guns and PBA veterans makes up the 24-man pool for the first window on February.

As revealed by the SBP on Friday, Isaac Go, Matt and Mike Nieto, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, Thirdy Ravena, and Jaydee Tungcab, the first seven players named to the Gilas Cadets pool, headline the February window pool among the youngsters.

They are joined by Javi and Juan Gomez De LiaƱo, Kobe Paras, Dave Ildefonso, Balti Baltazar, and incoming Ateneo player Dwight Ramos, implying that they are added to the Gilas Cadets as well.

Meanwhile, making up the pros who are in the national pool are Poy Erram, RR Pogoy, Ray-Ray Parks, Kiefer Ravena, Japeth Aguilar, Chris Standhardinger, CJ Perez, Mac Belo, Matt Wright, Troy Rosario, and Marc Pingris.

Standhardinger's addition effectively means that he will be the designated naturalized player for Gilas Men against Southeast Asian rivals Indonesia and Thailand. Pingris, on the other hand, could be in line for a Gilas Men return at age 38. June Mar Fajardo, Gilas Men's prized local center, was interestingly not included in the pool.

Gilas Men will host Thailand to start their bid for a spot in the FIBA Asia Cup on Feb. 20 and will next travel to Jakarta to face Indonesia on Feb. 23.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno