|June Mar Fajardo is back with Gilas. PBA Images (file photo)|
MANILA--Some of Coach Chot Reyes' prized wards during his stint as Gilas Pilipinas coach last decade will see action again for the Three Stars and a Sun as they headline the 16-man pool for the Southeast Asian Games men's 5x5 basketball event from May 12-23 in Hanoi.
As announced by Reyes himself on Friday night after the PBA Governors' Cup doubleheader at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar, who were with the Gilas team that won the silver in the 2013 FIBA Asia Cup in Pasay, and Matthew Wright, who was with Gilas when it won the 2017 SEABA Men's Championship at the aforementioned arena, were called back by the multi-titled coach for his Gilas team.
On the other hand, Reyes retained Troy Rosario, RR Pogoy, Robert Bolick, Kib Montalbo, Dwight Ramos, Thirdy Ravena, and Will Navarro from the Gilas squad that played in last month's FIBA World Cup Qualifiers window also held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
LeBron Lopez, who was part of the 15-man pool that entered the bubble but was not inserted in either of the final 12-man active rosters against India and New Zealand, was called back as well.
Completing the roster are Mo Tautuaa, Isaac Go, Kevin Alas, and Caelum Harris.
Go and Alas will be making their Gilas return, while Harris finally makes his Gilas debut.
Meanwhile, Tautuaa, who won a SEA Games gold in 2019 in San Juan City as a 3x3 player, is making a return to Gilas' 5x5 unit as a naturalized player.
Reyes is grateful to the PBA board of governors for allowing the 12 league players mentioned to make up the Gilas core for the SEA Games.
"We're very happy, fortunate, and thankful to Commissioner Willie [Marcial] and the PBA board for making available the following players," Reyes said.
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