Brownlee, Kouame to banner 13-player Gilas Pilipinas pool for Asian Games
Posted: 2023-Sep-12 14.04.56 UTC+0800
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Naturalized Justin Brownlee and Ange Kouame will banner the 13-man Gilas Pilipinas lineup for the upcoming 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China this September.
Both players are eligible to play for the pandemic-delayed Asiad since the quadrennial tournament does not follow FIBA eligibility rules.
Returnees Calvin Abueva and Terrence Abueva will once again don the national colors after five years since their suspension in 2018 after getting involved in the Philippine-Australia brawl in the FIBA Asia World Cup Qualifiers in the Philippine Arena.
Joining them were FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 holdovers June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, Roger Pogoy, and Japeth Aguilar, who helped the host finish 24th out of 32 nations.
World Cup cuts Chris Newsome and Calvin Oftana join them, alongside Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) stars Stanley Pringle, Jason Perkins, and Mo Tautuaa.
Pringle is a replacement if any of the other 12 players get injured, while the inclusion of Abueva and Perkins remains subject to approval from the Asian Games organizing committee, said new Gilas coach Tim Cone.
Cone, the current mentor of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Gin Kings, once called the shot for the nationals in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand. His squad won the Philippines' last medal in the competition with a bronze finish.
Helping Cone on the sideline are Richard del Rosario, Jong Uichico, LA Tenorio, and Josh Reyes as Gilas assistant coaches.
The 13 players showed up in their first practice session at the PhilSports Arena on September 11.
Up next for Gilas is a five-day training camp from September 17-21 at the Inspire Sports Academy before facing Korean Basketball League's LG Sakers in a tune-up game on September 22.
On September 23, they fly to Hangzhou.
Gilas is bunched alongside Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's Jordan, Southeast Asian rival Thailand, and Bahrain in Group C of the preliminaries.