Gilas Pilipinas Unveils Impressive Pool for FIBA World Cup 2023
Philippines gears up for a historic hosting of the international basketball tournament
In an exciting announcement, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has revealed the 21-man Gilas Pilipinas pool for the upcoming FIBA World Cup 2023, which will be held in the Philippines this August. The pool features an impressive lineup of talented players, including naturalized athletes Jordan Clarkson, Justin Brownlee, and Ange Kouame.
NBA star Jordan Clarkson, who previously played for Gilas Pilipinas in the fourth window of the Asian Qualifiers last August, will join forces with his fellow naturalized players Brownlee and Kouame in the team’s preparations for the World Cup. Brownlee, who made his debut for Gilas in the final window last February, recently showcased his skills by leading the Philippines to the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games held in Cambodia. Kouame, on the other hand, played a crucial role in helping the national team qualify for the Asia Cup during the 2021 qualifiers, although he faced a setback due to a knee injury last year.
Despite their impressive credentials, only one among Clarkson, Brownlee, and Kouame will secure a spot in the final roster for the World Cup, adding an element of anticipation and competition to the team’s selection process.
Kai Sotto’s Inclusion Bolsters Gilas Pilipinas Lineup
Another notable inclusion in the pool is the towering 7-foot-3 Kai Sotto, putting an end to recent speculations about his availability. Sotto, a Filipino prodigy currently pursuing his NBA dream and scheduled to participate in the Summer League in July, has reaffirmed his commitment to representing the Philippines on the international stage. Coach Chot Reyes emphasized the importance of having Sotto on the team, recognizing his immense potential and contribution.
The initial roster also boasts several talented players, including Dwight Ramos, who played in all Asian Qualifier windows and has been making waves in the Japan B.League. Joining him are familiar names like Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Carl Tamayo, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., and Jordan Heading.
In addition to the young talents, experienced veterans have also been called up. June Mar Fajardo, a key player in the past two World Cups, will bring his valuable expertise to the team. Other PBA stars such as Scottie Thompson, CJ Perez, Roger Pogoy, Jamie Malonzo, Japeth Aguilar, Poy Erram, Chris Newsome, and Calvin Oftana have also been included in the pool.
AJ Edu and Rhenz Abando Bring Talent and Promise to Gilas Pilipinas
Returning player AJ Edu and Korean Basketball League champion Rhenz Abando have earned their spots in the pool, showcasing their skills and potential to contribute to Gilas Pilipinas’ success in the World Cup. Having previously represented Gilas Pilipinas, Edu is familiar with the team dynamics and the demands of international competition. Rhenz Abando, the Korean Basketball League champion, made his mark in the international stage during the previous window and the Asia Cup. Abando has showcased his scoring ability, defensive prowess, and basketball IQ. As a rising star in Philippine basketball, Abando’s inclusion in the Gilas Pilipinas pool is a testament to his immense potential and the trust placed in him by the coaching staff.
Gilas faces formidable opponents in Group A
Gilas Pilipinas has been drawn into Group A for the tournament, with their campaign set to begin on August 25 at the Philippine Arena against the Dominican Republic. They will then face Angola on August 27 and Italy on August 29 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, promising exciting matchups for Filipino basketball fans.
The unveiling of the Gilas Pilipinas pool has generated significant excitement and anticipation, as the team aims to make a mark on their home soil and compete fiercely against international powerhouses in the FIBA World Cup 2023.
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