Bambol Tolentino vows to not stop pleading for Gilas case in Asian Games

Calvin Abueva's inclusion or final exclusion from Gilas' Asian Games team remains pending as of Thursday. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

CEBU CITY--Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino vowed that he will not stop vouching for the changes to the Gilas Pilipinas lineup for the Asian Games men's 5x5 basketball event until the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee finally gives in to his appeal.

With only two days left before the formal opening ceremonies, Tolentino is still appealing to HAGOC that Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins, Terrence Romeo, and Mo Tautuaa should be allowed to play for Gilas in the men's basketball tournament.

Abueva and Perkins were never part of an initial 60-man Gilas pool for the Asian Games, which put their inclusion in the final 12-man lineup into question.

Meanwhile, despite Romeo and Tautuaa as well as supposed reserve Stanley Pringle being in the initial pool, their names were scratched off in the second pool submitted to HAGOC, in which the 60-man set was trimmed to just 37.

The new pool list caught Gilas interim coach Tim Cone by surprise as he told the media during a press conference on Tuesday at the PBA office in Quezon City.

As a contingency plan, Cone announced that CJ Perez, Kevin Alas, Chris Ross, and Arvin Tolentino, all listed in both pools, were added to the current active pool and will replace Abueva, Perkins, Romeo, and Tautuaa in the Final 12 should their appeal be denied with finality.

Cone said that they were expecting an answer to the appeal as late as Thursday, but based on the situation in the Chinese city, there is still no answer to it.

Cone also announced that Marcio Lassiter, also part of the listed pools, is now in the Final 12 due to RR Pogoy's injury.

However, Bambol Tolentino said on Thursday that he will continue to appeal the inclusion of Abueva, Perkins, Romeo, and Tautuaa as long as there is no finality to their denial.

“We will push it a thousand times, we’ll push it every time they deny it,” Tolentino said after the flag-raising ceremony for the country at the Asian Games Village, the designated athlete's village for the rare odd-numbered edition of the traditionally quadrennial meet in Hangzhou.

Bambol Tolentino says no go for other appeals

On the other hand, Bambol Tolentino confirmed that the separate appeals for fencing, golf, and gymnastics have all been totally denied. 

He then disclosed the supposed new entries for the said sports, namely Alexa Lareabal, Hae Abella, and Lee Ergina for fencing, Chanelle Avaricio for golf, and Levi Ruvivar for gymnastics.

Tolentino, though, was mum on what happened to the appeal for football, but he said last week in the Pandesal Forum at the Kamuning Bakery in Quezon City that the player appeal rules for the said sport are different from the others so the likelihood is that the appeal could have been approved.

One factor for the appeal is that the Asian Games do not coincide with the FIFA international window, so the clubs are not required to send their players for national team callups.

The Philippine women's football team just released its final training pool for the Asian Games earlier this week, probably adding the players the team was appealing to.

The Filipinas begin their campaign on Friday, the eve of the opening ceremonies

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