MANILA, Philippines – National team coach Chot Reyes remains optimistic despite the decision of Greg Slaughter and Marcio Lassiter to withdraw from the Gilas Pilipinas training pool.
Reyes said he still has 15 players in the training pool, from which he will pick the Gilas Pilipinas final lineup for the FIBA Basketball World Cup tournament in August.
“We're 15-strong. We've always faced adversity. We've always found a way, or we will die trying #LabanPilipinasPuso,” he said through on his Twitter account.
Reyes earlier said he had added 5 players, including Paul Lee and Beau Belga of Rain or Shine, Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel Beer, Meralco's Jared Dillinger and Ginebra's Slaughter, to the pool.
They were supposed to join the FIBA Asia group led by Jimmy Alapag, LA Tenorio, Jayson Castro, Larry Fonacier, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, Gary David, Ranidel Ocampo, Marc Pingris, Japeth Aguilar, Junemar Fajardo and naturalized player Marcus Douthit.
But Slaughter and Lassiter said they decided to let the "Original 12" take their place among the world’s best teams in the FIBA tournament. Lassiter, for his part, begged off due to health reasons.
“I’m very honored to be selected for that, but for the past four years of experience there, I know the feeling of new people coming in on something you have started, and having that pressure of not knowing the roster spots,” said Slaughter.
Meanwhile, Reyes thanked the local basketball fans who tweeted their support to Gilas.