Gilas Pilipinas brought in 13 players for the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers as team captain Kiefer Ravena was ruled out while NorthPort duo of Arvin Tolentino and Will Navarro and amateur standout Francis Lopez were the final cuts before the Middle East trip.
Ateneo big man and naturalized player Ange Kouame led the 13-man crew that left for Amman, Jordan, Monday evening, Nov. 7, along with PBA players and B.League imports while Adelaide center Kai Sotto will go straight to Jordan from Australia.
Thirdy Ravena, Ray Parks. Jr and Dwight Ramos were the B.League players in the pool joining PBA stars RR Pogoy, Poy Erram and Calvin Oftana of TNT, Jamie Malonzo, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson of Barangay Ginebra, and CJ Perez of San Miguel Beer.
Begging off this time around, however, was Kiefer who had to undergo an emergency dental procedure on his impacted wisdom tooth, rendering him unavailable for the rest of the window.
Ravena joined SMB’s June Mar Fajardo (throat injury), Meralco’s Chris Newsome (calf strain) and UP’s Carl Tamayo (ankle sprain) on the sidelines.
Gilas, sporting an even 3-3 record, will open its campaign in the fifth window against Jordan on Thursday, Nov. 10 (early Friday morning, Manila time) before flying to Jeddah for the Nov. 13 match against Saudi Arabia.