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'NO FINAL CUT' | Chot Reyes says he called Gilas cuts about Final 12 decision simultaneously

Chris Newsome is not exactly the final cut as coach Chot Reyes clarified. Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes clarified that Chris Newsome already knew about his fate in making the final lineup for the FIBA World Cup at the same time Ray-Ray Parks, Calvin Oftana, and Thirdy Ravena found out theirs.

According to Reyes, he called the four players at the same time, breaking the sad news that they won't make it to basketball's biggest showdown starting on Friday.

"I talked to Thirdy personally, and I made the call myself to Ray Parks, Calvin, and Chris. I called them all at the same time, so there was really no final cut," Reyes said during the pre-tournament press conference on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

However, despite already missing the cut, Newsome still attended Gilas' recent practices, closed-door tune-up games, and even the team pictorial, somehow giving a presumption that he was still in consideration as of Tuesday.

Newsome was even in attendance during their training session the night before, hours before the Final 12 was officially unveiled.

Parks and Ravena were already nowhere to be seen since the tune-up games, while Oftana was absent during Tuesday's practice.

However, Reyes said that he could have still invited the aforementioned players to practice but they have their plans already set.

"Thirdy and Ray have to report back already to their teams in Japan, and Calvin had to go back to Dumaguete to be with his family. They would have been here with us," Reyes further said.

While some fans would still want either of the four cuts in the Final 12, Gilas' FIBA World Cup remains stacked with NBA star Jordan Clarkson and a bevy of big men led by seven-foot-three Kai Sotto, 6-foot-10 AJ Edu and June Mar Fajardo, and six-foot-nine Japeth Aguilar, the team captain.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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