Gilas Pilipinas’ plan to tinker with its Southeast Asian Games roster will need the approval of the Malaysian competition organizers, a process that effectively kills the team’s chances of changing its lineup.
“Discretionary on the part of the organizers, so kahit na gusto mong palitan, kung hindi papayagan, hindi papayagan,” said Sonny Barrios, executive director of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the sport’s national governing body, in a team event held Saturday recognizing Gilas’ play in the recent Jones Cup.
The FIBA Asia Cup, which will be held on August 8 to 27, overlaps with the SEA Games schedule, which will see the Philippines play on August 20, 22 and 23.
Christian Standhardinger and Carl Bryan Cruz are rostered in both tournaments and they’ll be hard-pressed to play in the Kuala Lumpur Games after flying thousands of kilometers from Beirut, Lebanon, which hosts the FIBA Asia Cup.
Malaysia and the Philippines are on the same group in the basketball tournament so the Malaysians will do anything to gain an advantage over Gilas. The two teams play on August 23.
“It’s no guarantee. That will be determined in the managers’ meeting the night before (the start of the tournament,” Gilas coach Chot Reyes said referring to a roster tweak.
That doesn’t bode well, too, for Jordan Clarkson’s chances of joining up in the SEA Games, a prospect that was already bleak in the beginning.
“The procedure is quite different. We will adjust if we can, but right now i can’t give you a percentage, whether 100%, 50%, 10% (that Clarkson can join),” Gilas team manager Butch Antonio said.
“It’s subject to a decision that we cannot control.”
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