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Mark Dickel explains 'young' Gilas Men lineup against Indonesia

Mark Dickel wanted to build for the future. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—A Gilas Pilipinas Men lineup oozing with youthfulness was announced by the SBP on Wednesday night for their FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers game against Indonesia.

[Related Story: Ravena Brothers set for reunion as they make Gilas Men team vs. Indonesia in FIBA ACQ]

Only Justin Chua and Poy Erram are aged 30, while the rest of the PBA players making the final cut are just in their middle 20's.

Meanwhile, five members of the Gilas Cadets also made the final lineup with incoming Ateneo transfer student Dwight Ramos the youngest at 21.

"In a few positions, we felt like we had it covered with some young players, so they had an advantage thinking towards the future," Mark Dickel, the assigned coach for Gilas Men, explained why he opted for this lineup on Wednesday night after the national team practice at the Meralco Gym.

However, he admitted that he had a tough decision in building up the Gilas Men lineup especially with the likes of Javee Mocon and Allyn Bulanadi performing well in practices.

Mocon, a late addition to the Gilas Men pool for the first window, was the only PBA player cut from the final roster.

"If you look at some of them like Javee Mocon, that was a very difficult decision to make," Dickel rued.

However, he further explained, "We felt we just had cover with both Thirdy [Ravena] and Dwight, and they're kinda playing in the same position."

Still, the Rain Or Shine winger was named among the reserves along with cadets Jaydee Tungcab and Rey Suerte.

About Bulanadi, Dickel said, "I felt like he was so good in practices... but we thought we had it covered with CJ [Perez] and Roger [Pogoy] in particular for their spot."

But Dickel further quipped on the current Basilan Steel star, "His time will come."

Dickel then bared that he made up his mind about the final lineup to Jakarta following the last two practices of the team.

"In all honesty, the team in the last two days in practice, it made it much much easier to pick," he further said. "We felt that the PBA players that we picked gave us a really really good base to build off, and then the other five players can compliment them."

Dickel added that Gilas Men will leave for Jakarta on Friday for their scheduled showdown with Indonesia on Sunday night.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno