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Gilas starts Jones Cup bid vs Canadian club team
Nelson Beltran ( - June 30, 2017 - 7:57am

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas opens its Jones Cup campaign versus Canada’s 3D Global Sports on July 15 and plays nine games in nine days in all in the Taipei invitational tourney that could well toughen up the team for the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur in August.

After their opening game against the Canadians, the Filipinos take on Taipei A, Taipei B, Japan, Korea, Iraq, Lithuania, India and Iran.

“Nine games in nine days versus Lithuania, Canada, Iran, Korea, Japan, India, Iraq, ROC A and B. This year’s Jones Cup field is tough,” said Gilas coach Chot Reyes.

Obviously, the Jones Cup organizers regard Gilas highly that they pitted the Filipinos versus the Iranians on the final day of competition.

Iran ruled the Jones Cup five times in the last eight years while Gilas reigned supreme in the tourney in 2012 and finished second to the Iranians in 2015.

Mighty Sports, a Philippines club team fielding a number of reinforcements including former PBA imports Al Thornton, Hamady N’Diaye, Vernon Macklin, Zach Graham and Mike Singletary, topped the 2016 Jones Cup.

Gilas Pilipinas fields in Mike Myers as its lone import in a roster that will Fil-German Christian Standhardinger and two other Gilas new recruits in Kobe Paras and Raymar Jose.

They join the Gilas cadet pool that is gearing up for the 2017 SEA Games slated Aug. 19-30 in Kuala Lumpur.

Still up in the air is Gilas’ participation in the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon also in August as it was not brought up in the PBA board meeting Thursday.

Already approved is Gilas’ participation in the Jones Cup and in the SEAG.

SEAG veterans Troy Rosario, Baser Amer, Almond Vosotros, Kevin Ferrer, Kiefer Ravena and Ray Ray Parks and newcomers Paras, Jose, Standhardinger, Mike Tolomia, Von Pessumal and Carl Bryan Cruz carry the national colors in the Kuala Lumpur Games.

Reyes seriously considered enlisting young 7-1 behemoth Kai Sotto, but decided not to in the end as they might jeopardize the collegiate eligibility of the player as he’s to play with pros.

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