Calvin Oftana, Kevin Alas, Jamie Malonzo present in Gilas' 1st practice

Calvin Oftana is among the PBA players inserted into the Gilas pool. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Calvin Oftana, Jamie Malonzo, and Kevin Alas have been included in the Gilas Pilipinas pool for the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

The NLEX duo of Alas and Oftana and NorthPort's high-flying Malonzo are the first three players from the PBA called up by Coach Chot Reyes for national team duty, and all of them were present during Gilas' first practice session on Monday night at the Meralco Gym in Pasig.

Alas, Oftana, and Malonzo joined Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Dwight Ramos, Ray-Ray Parks, Kevin Quiambao, Carl Tamayo, and LeBron Lopez, the first locals chosen for the pool, in training.

On the other hand, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas confirmed that Magnolia's Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon have been called up too.

Sangalang and Jalalon are expected to join the Gilas practice session on Tuesday night.

Ginebra head coach Tim Cone finally joined the Gilas training as part of Reyes' coaching staff along with Gilas Youth mentor Josh Reyes and, according to the SBP, provided some inputs as well during the Monday session.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios was also present in the closed-door practice and told the Gilas pool members present that the basketball community's support is with them.

The headliners for the Gilas pool, Adelaide 36er Kai Sotto and Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson, will arrive from their respective places later this week and are expected to quickly jump into Gilas practice.

The rest of the Gilas pool might be announced as soon as Wednesday night following the knockout PBA Philippine Cup semifinal game between Meralco and San Miguel.

Gilas will first travel to Beirut to battle Lebanon on Aug. 26 (Philippine Time) before hosting Saudi Arabia in Pasay on Aug. 29.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno