LeBron Lopez cut from Gilas OQT roster

Published June 24, 2021, 4:10 PM

by Jonas Terrado

LeBron Lopez (FIBA photo)

LeBron Lopez became the last cut of Gilas Pilipinas’ 12-man roster for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament which starts next week in Belgrade, Serbia.

Lopez’s absence for the Tokyo Olympics qualifier came after the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas announced its lineup Thursday, June 24, the same day the team leaves for the Serbian capital.

Named to the OQT roster were Dwight Ramos, Ange Kouame, Kai Sotto, SJ Belangel, RJ Abarrientos, Isaac Go, Jordan Heading, Will Navarro, Justine Baltazar, Carl Tamayo, Mike Nieto and Geo Chiu.

Javi Gomez de Liano and Jaydee Tungcab were earlier cut from the lineup as coach Tab Baldwin emphasized the need to have more size in the Group A matches against host Serbia and Dominican Republic.

The 18-year-old Lopez played just one game for Gilas during last week’s FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Pampanga.

He had eight points and five rebounds in nine minutes when the Philippines beat Indonesia, 76-51, last June 18.

Lopez also played when Gilas and China settled for a 79-all tie in a tune-up match last Wednesday, June 23.