Gilas plays 9 straight games in Jones Cup
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - June 30, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines -  Gilas Pilipinas opens its Jones Cup campaign versus Canada’s 3D Global Sports on July 15 and will play nine straight games in the Taipei invitational tourney as part of its tuneup 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.

Apparently 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 2012 and finished second to the Iranians in 2015.

Mighty Sports, a Phl club team which fielded 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 has tapped TNT standby import Mike Myers as its lone import in a roster that includes Fil-German Christian Standhardinger and two other Gilas new recruits in Kobe Paras and Raymar Jose.

They join the Gilas cadet pool 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 which was not brought up in the PBA board meeting Thursday.

Already approved is Gilas’ participation in the Jones Cup and 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 will carry the national colors in the Kuala Lumpur Games.

Reyes has seriously considered enlisting young 7-1 behemoth Kai Sotto, but changed his mind so as not to jeopardize the collegiate eligibility of the player since he would be playing with the pros.

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