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Newsome, Maliksi, Almazan, Perez, Fajardo among latest additions as Gilas pool now complete

Chris Newsome, Raymond Almazan, and June Mar Fajardo have been called up to the Gilas pool, but whether they will be ultimately considered for the final lineups will depend on their fate on Wednesday night. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Three players from Meralco and two San Miguel stars have been inserted to the Gilas Pilipinas pool as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas released its 24-man roster for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers fourth window on Tuesday night.

Chris Newsome, Allein Maliksi, and Raymond Almazan have been tapped among the Bolts, while June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez are the Beermen who have been called up.

However, it is expected that the Gilas pool will be trimmed down immediately by Wednesday night as Meralco and SMB will dispute the last seat in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

According to Commissioner Willie Marcial, the teams that will make the championship series will be excused from lending players to national team duties as the fourth window of the WCQ falls within the period of the finals.

Gilas will travel to Beirut to battle Lebanon on Aug. 26 (Philippine Time) and will quickly return home to host Saudi Arabia on Aug. 29 in Pasay.

Interestingly enough, Reyes' PBA team, TNT, also made the finals, although he said on Sunday night after eliminating Magnolia in the semifinals that Gilas will be his priority.

Completing the pool are Ginebra's Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, and Arvin Tolentino, NorthPort's Robert Bolick, and Terrafirma's Roosevelt Adams.

Already announced to be included were Kai Sotto, Jordan Clarkson, Kevin Alas, Calvin Oftana, Jamie Malonzo, Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Dwight Ramos, Ray-Ray Parks, Kevin Quiambao, Carl Tamayo, Jio Jalalon, Ian Sangalang, and LeBron Lopez.

Jalalon and Sangalang were expected to attend Gilas' Tuesday night closed-door training at the Meralco Gym in Pasig.

Meanwhile, Sotto is expected to return home from Australia on Aug. 18 and Clarkson will arrive the day later.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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