Asian Games Abueva and Terrence

Romeo and Abueva reconnect with Gilas

Gilas Pilipinas, the national basketball team of the Philippines, has started preparations for the upcoming Asian Games by returning two familiar faces, Calvin Abueva and Terrence Romeo. After a five-year hiatus from their last national team stint, Abueva and Romeo are back in the fold. Their reintegration into the squad marks a significant moment, given their suspensions in 2018 following their involvement in a bench-clearing brawl with Australia.

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The seasoned duo joins a formidable roster that includes June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, Roger Pogoy, and Japeth Aguilar, who were part of the FIBA World Cup squad representing the Philippines on the global stage. The presence of naturalized players Justin Brownlee and Ange Kouame has also bolstered the national team. Unlike FIBA tournaments, the Asian Games have different eligibility rules, allowing these players to participate as long as they can provide passports indicating their chosen representation.

Completing the 13-man roster are Stanley Pringle, Chris Newsome, Calvin Oftana, Jason Perkins, and Mo Tautuaa, forming a well-rounded and promising team. Tim Cone, the same coach who led the Philippines to a bronze medal in the 1998 Asian Games, will again take charge of the group. An experienced coaching staff, including Richard del Rosario, Jong Uichico, LA Tenorio, and Josh Reyes, will support him.

Cone expressed satisfaction with the team’s composition, emphasizing a balance of size, quickness, and talent across different positions. However, he noted that Stanley Pringle would serve as an alternate in case of injuries, and the participation of Abueva and Perkins is contingent on approval from the Asian Games organizing committee.

The road ahead for Gilas Pilipinas involves a training camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba City, Laguna, from September 17 to 21. Following this, they will engage in a tune-up game against the Korean Basketball League team LG Sakers on September 22 before departing for Hangzhou on September 23.

In the preliminary round of the Asian Games, Gilas Pilipinas finds itself in Group C, where it will face stiff competition from Jordan, Thailand, and Bahrain. As they gear up for this prestigious tournament, the team carries the hopes of a nation and the aspiration to capture their first Asian Games medal since 1998, when they secured a bronze in Bangkok, Thailand.

In conclusion, with the return of Abueva and Romeo, along with a mix of seasoned veterans and emerging talents, Gilas Pilipinas appears poised for a strong showing in the Asian Games. The coaching staff’s dedication and the team’s collective spirit will be instrumental as they strive to make history in Hangzhou. The Filipino basketball community eagerly awaits their journey, hoping for a triumphant campaign on the international stage.

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