Three Gilas cadets tapped for Asiad five
Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - June 19, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Kobe Paras, Abu Tratter and Ricci Rivero are Gilas cadets tapped to join naturalized player Andray Blatche and the core of the TNT KaTropa squad that will form the Philippine men’s basketball team in the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia in August.

Paras has suited up with Gilas in last year’s Jones Cup in Taipei and in the SEA Games in Malaysia, Tratter has had his tour of duty with the Nationals in the second window of the FIBA World Cup qualifier while Rivero is a former national youth player.

Meanwhile, Gilas veterans Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario and Terrence Romeo lead the TNT players who made it to the national roster for the coming Asiad where Team Phl chases a first medal since the third-place finish of the Philippine Centennial Team in Bangkok in 1998.

Jericho Cruz, Don Trollano, Anthony Semerad and Kelly Williams are the other Texters in the cast. Williams is veteran of the Guangzhou Asiad while Cruz had a stint with the national team in the SEA Games.

Most of these players were not included in the original lineup submitted by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to the Asiad organizing committee.

“We’re able to revise the lineup, and the organizers allowed the change,” said SBP president Al Panlilio.

During the last meeting of the PBA board of governors, the Alaska Milk ball club offered the services of Carl Bryan Cruz for the Asian Games.

“We appreciate Alaska’s gesture of allowing Carl Bryan Cruz, but in the end, we felt it was better to just go with the TNT core so as not to cause too much disruption in their third conference preparation,” said national coach Chot Reyes in an ESPN5 report.

“We want the Asian Games lineup to be a combination of competing for a medal as well as building for the future, thus the inclusion of three Cadets,” Reyes said on the inclusion of Paras, Tratter and Rivero.

Meanwhile, Blatche will have a different set of support crew in the third window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers where they play Chinese Taipei in Taiwan on June 29 and Team Australia at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on July 2.

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