Four TNT Tropang Giga and B.League player in Thirdy Ravena are expected to join Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers’ February window.
TNT cagers RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram, and Kib Montalbo have strong chances of joining the Gilas roster in its coming games this month.
Ravena, who left his mother squad in the B.League in Japan, is also expected to reinforce Gilas.
Coach Chot Reyes said this after the four joined the core group of six Gilas players that were part of the squad that former mentor Tab Baldwin handled last year.
“With little time left, we mixed up the Gilas players together with those from TNT to make the lineup,” said Reyes.
The four cagers have practiced together with Gilas holdovers Dwight Ramos, teammates Angelo Kouame, Tzaddy Rangel, William Navarro, JD Tungcab, Juan Gomez de Liano.
The Gilas scrimmages have temporarily ended at the Malarayat Golf and Country Club facilities in Lipa, Batangas, with the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup about to begin on Friday.
Reyes said they are taking the formation of the national squad with care and caution.
That’s because the Korean team that they will face in their opening game on Feb. 24 will be out for payback.
The Koreans will not forget that the Philippines beat them twice, 81-78, and 82-77, during the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers in Manama, Bahrain, and in Pampanga last year.
“We’re taking a look on how they can play together. And it really looks promising. Pero iba ang practice sa laro,” added Reyes.
Reyes is also anticipating that Gilas will also have to play tough games against both India and New Zealand.
And that’s the reason why he is keeping on having additional players joining them.
So far, Ravena has left his mother team SanEn Neophoenix in the B.League in Japan on Tuesday evening. He is expected to join Gilas’ training session at the Moro Lorenzo Gym in Quezon City in the coming days.