Gilas seeks Asiad clearance for Perkins, Abueva

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Gilas seeks Asiad clearance for Perkins, Abueva
Calvin Abueva and Jason Perkins
File photos

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tim Cone said the team is hoping that Jason Perkins and Calvin Abueva would be part of the Final 12 for the Asian Games. 

Perkins and Abueva were two forwards who trained with the team on Monday as preparations for the Asiad began.

Cone, however, said that while Perkins and Abueva are "100% sure" to be on the team, their inclusions are still being petitioned since they were not part of the initial 60 names given to the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee in July. 

But with the injuries to both Jamie Malonzo and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, the team is hoping that the two forwards will be allowed to play. 

“We’ve still got Perkins and Calvin Abueva, who are not 100% sure. They’re 100% sure to be on the team if they’re allowed to be on the team. They weren’t on the original list of the 60 that was submitted. So because of Jamie’s injury and Brandon’s injury, we’re asking for a ruling that we can replace them with Calvin and Perkins,” Cone told reporters after practice at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City Monday. 

“We hear [about the ruling] by Friday or Saturday. They’re going to continue practice with us with the opportunity but if they do come through, they will be in. If not, we’re gonna have to look for replacements, which we have not done,” he added. 

The head coach underscored the importance of having both Abueva and Perkins for the Asiad. 

“We don’t really have that three, four guy and if we can get them, then that makes us more versatile because that means we can move Justin [Brownlee] around to different positions,” he said. 

“But, without them, we’re really guard heavy or big heavy. We don’t have the in-between guys. So Calvin and Perk are really important to us,” he added. 

On Monday, a total of 12 players trained. 

They are June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, Ange Kouame, Terrence Romeo, Chris Newsome, Calvin Oftana, Mo Tautuaa, Staley Pringle, Brownlee, Abueva and Perkins. 

RR Pogoy, who also played for Gilas in the FIBA World Cup, also attended the practice but he did not participate. 

Cone bared that Pogoy is the one who will make the final roster, but Pringle is in the team as an alternate.

“This is our group. This is what we wanna go with and we’re really, really keeping our fingers crossed with Jason and Calvin,” he added.

“Stanley’s here as an alternate, as a 13th man, he’s an alternate in case anything happens, in case Calvin and Perk can’t make it, he’ll be one of the guys we’ll place in the lineup or in case someone gets injured,” he said. 

“He’s here because he knows the system and everything. It’s a logical choice for us. He’s willing to be here with the idea that he might not make the 12 but at this point he’s an alternate."

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