Magnificent 12 of Gilas to be known

August 18, 2023 Robert Andaya 479 views

THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will announce the final composition of the 12-man Gilas Pilipinas on Aug 23, or only two days before the formal opening of the FIBA World Cup 2023 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

That’s because Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes and his coaching staff have decided to take one more look at all 16 players currently with the team when they play three more tuneup games against world no. 42 Cote d’Ivoire on Aug. 18, world No. 18 Montenegro on August 20 and No. 31 Mexico on August 21.

The ”Magnificent 12”, as basketball scholars now call the team, as well as the last four players who will be cut from the team, will be known by this time.

So far, only former NBA “Sixth Man of the Year: awardee Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz is assured of a slot in the team, according to team sources.

NBA prospect Kai Sotto should also be a cinch to make it to the team, although a nagging back injury sustained by the 7-3 behemoth during his brief stint with the Orlando Magic in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas remains a cause of concern

Even coach Reyes earlier revealed that he is not just looking at pure talent and that he prefers to get players who can readily fit the system.

“As always, the final decision will be made based on who fits the system, who fits the style of everybody else. Kung sino yung mataas ang level ng nilalaro at this point combined, especially these last three games,” Reyes told ABS CBN.

While admitting it is difficult to use all 16 players even during the tuneup games, Reyes said he is looking forward to a full roster in all three friendlies.

“This is the first time we’ll play as a complete team with Kai and Jordan..Ngayon lang natin makikita ang lahat na magkakasama.” he said.

Meanwhile, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Richard Bachmann called on all basketball-loving Filipinos to watch the FIBA World CUp games, especially Gilas Pilipinas matches, starting Aug. 25 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

With less than a week before the opening tip, BAchmann reiterated his support for the country’s hosting of the world’s biggest baskeytball event.

“As the games return to our home soil, this historic event will forever be etched in the chronicles of our basketball history. So, I invite our kababayans to watch the games, may it be live or online,” said Bachmann.

A former basketball player himself, Bachmann thanked the Office of the President for the declaration of Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 27, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin by the authority of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., suspending work in government offices and classes in public schools at all levels in Metro Manila and the Province of Bulacan on August 25.

“The PSC came out with this appeal to the Office of the Executive Secretary a few weeks back. We’re thankful that this was granted immediately to ensure the safe, orderly, and successful conduct of the opening ceremonies,” added Bachmann, who previously served as Operations Head of the country’s FIBA Local Organizing Committee (LOC) prior to his PSC chairmanship.