TNT roster to comprise chunk of Reyes-led Gilas for FIBA 1st window

Coach Chot Reyes taps his PBA mother team for the first FIBA window (PBA Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Newly designated Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes will be calling the services of his PBA team TNT Tropang Giga in the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup Asia first qualifying window.

As the transition from the Tab Baldwin era to Reyes officially begins, the set of players to represent the Philippines in FIBA will also be revamped.

Following the exit of Baldwin in the Gilas coaching staff are mainstay cadets Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, and Mike & Matt Nieto.

Gilas stars Kai Sotto and Jordan Heading will also not be available due to their international import stint commitments in Australia and Taiwan, respectively.

Staying for the Gilas program that were present during the past two FIBA bubbles last year are Ange Kouame, Will Navarro, Jaydee Tungcab, and Tzaddy Rangel.

Reyes plans to inject a large portion of his TNT squad into the current Gilas program that will compete in the first window and to fill in the gaps of the roster.

“Coach Chot doesn’t want to disrupt the PBA. So his plan is to inject TNT players for Gilas for the qualifiers set in the last week of February,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.

By inserting his trusted TNT core players to Gilas, the chemistry and familiarity issue will then be addressed immediately as to how they can orchestrate well with Kouame, Navarro, Tungcab, and Rangel.

The job will also be easier for Reyes as five of his TNT players were members of the past Gilas squads who competed internationally: Jason Castro, RR Pogoy, Poy Erram, Kelly Williams, and Troy Rosario.

Gilas will look to kick off its first window on a high note as they battle New Zealand, India, and the familiar Korean squad who are seeking redemption after getting swept by the Philippines during the latest bubble.