A DOUBTING Thomas, at least in this one.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas program director Thomas Anthony “Tab” Baldwin admitted it’s unlikely the country will field an amateur-dominated Gilas Pilipinas squad in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
“We don’t have enough cadets to fill out a roster. We’re gonna have to go in some direction, either to the college ranks to the international ranks, I don’t know. We can’t play with five players, six if we include Jaydee (Tungcab), seven if we are allowed to get Thirdy (Ravena).
That right now is our Gilas pool. Juan and Javi (Gomez de Liaño) are co-opted in, as well as Dwight Ramos, and there’s nothing to say that we might not be able to do that again amongst other players,” Baldwin said.
“Right now, Gilas controls Matt and Mike Nieto, George (Go), Allyn (Bulanadi), and Rey Suerte, and we are on a borrowed position with Thirdy, and Jaydee is co-opted in as well.
That’s where Gilas is right now,” he added.
The FIBA announced last Friday the next two windows of the qualifiers set in November and in February next year will be played under bubble-type environments.
Pro league players are likely to be unavailable due to the PBA’s bubble season set to start on Oct. 9 in Clark City.
Only big man Isaac Go, guard Rey Suerte, wingman Allyn Bulanadi, and twins Matt and Mike Nieto, all selected in the special Gilas draft last December, are contractually obligated to be part of the team, according to Baldwin.