POC releases Gilas Pilipinas lineup for Asian Games

June Mar Fajardo and six other FIBA World Cup Gilas members will spearhead team PHL’s bid for Asian Games glory (FIBA)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Finally, the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team’s roster for the upcoming 2023 Asian Games has been revealed.

During an announcement last September 8, 2023, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) already submitted the pool of players that will travel to Guangzhou, China later this month.

Two days ago, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) held a closed-door meeting to finalize their team that can go up against the best squads in Asia for global hoops supremacy.

Leading the pack for the PHL national team are holdovers from the FIBA World Cup squad: Jamie Malonzo, CJ Perez, Japeth Aguilar, June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, RR Pogoy, and Kiefer Ravena.

Fresh from a FIBA World Cup stint here in Manila, those seven players will only have a little time to rest and will get back to training immediately for the Asian Games.

Also part of the pool are former Gilas members Chris Newsome, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Calvin Oftana, Justin Brownlee, and Ange Kouame.

A month ago, it was Brownlee who was first to commit to the national team after getting relegated to a reserved naturalized player role for Gilas in the World Cup when Jordan Clarkson was selected over him.

Brownlee said that he will be shifting his focus to the Asian Games and will seek to lead the squad just like the last Southeast Asian Games.

In the case of Koaume, another naturalized player for the PHL, the POC explained that he can still suit up for the team if he is able to present his Philippine passport to the Asian Games committee.

Calling the shot for the national team is still head coach Chot Reyes but this is still subject to change after he announced that he will be stepping down after the FIBA World Cup.