The best players from the losing team in the remaining semifinals series in the PBA Philippine Cup won’t be leaving for a vacation just yet as the stars from both Meralco and San Miguel were called up to the national team.
SMB’s June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez along with the Meralco trio of Raymond Almazan, Chris Newsome and Allein Maliksi have been included to the initial 24-man pool for the fourth window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas announced on Tuesday.
Joining the five were Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson and Arvin Tolentino, NorthPort’s Robert Bolick and free agent Roosevelt Adams as the new additions to the members of the pool which already started its closed-door training on Monday.
Among members of the pool present in the first practice were PBA players Calvin Oftana, Jamie Malonzo, Kevin Alas along with Gilas mainstays Carl Tamayo, Francis Lopez and Kevin Quiambao.
B.League imports Dwight Ramos, Ray Parks Jr. and brothers Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena were also in attendance while Magnolia duo of Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon were added later on.
Expected to lead the way for the national team pool were lineup shoo-ins Kai Sotto and Jordan Clarkson who are both arriving in the country later in the week.
Gilas will only have a luxury of a week-long full practice before it takes on FIBA Asia Cup 2022 silver medalist Lebanon in Beirut on Aug. 25 before hosting Saudi Arabia at the Mall of Asia Arena on Aug. 29.