Gilas brings in late additions with 1 week left before Asian Games opener

Marcio Lassiter officially cracks Gilas' Asian Games team as RR Pogoy's replacement. Rick Dela Cruz (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—With exactly one week left before it begins its campaign in the Asian Games, Gilas Pilipinas made late changes to its lineup after concerns arose about the player recruitment and even the injury bug to RR Pogoy.

National team coach Tim Cone announced on Tuesday in a press conference at the PBA office that CJ Perez, Kevin Alas, Chris Ross, and Arvin Tolentino have been called up to replace Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins, Terrence Romeo, and Mo Tautuaa pending a final appeal from the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Abueva and Perkins were not listed at all in two pools relayed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to the POC for consideration in the entry by name.

However, Romeo and Tautuaa were excluded from the second pool which became the final basis of the players that should make Gilas' "Final 12" for the Asian Games.

Even Stanley Pringle, the designated reserve player, was actually not in the 37-man second pool list.

With the problems arising, Cone decided to call up Perez, Alas, Ross, and Tolentino, but he clarified that they would still await the final appeal made by the POC.

POC president Bambol Tolentino personally went to Hangzhou, China earlier in the day to lobby for the inclusion of Abueva, Perkins, Romeo, Tautuaa, and some other national athletes from football, golf, gymnastics, and fencing to the final entry-by-name lineup of the Philippine team.

Meanwhile, Lassiter will replace Pogoy, who was not feeling well after his stint with Gilas in the FIBA World Cup.

Pringle could have easily taken the place of Pogoy if not for him also not in the Gilas pool list.

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