Chot favors fast, versatile PH Gilas 5

By Nelson Beltran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 07 2013 10:06 AM | Updated as of Feb 07 2013 09:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines - National coach Chot Reyes hopes to assemble a versatile team which will put premium on speed and outside offensives to offset its lack of size and ceiling as it vies for World Cup berth in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship set Aug. 1-11 at the MOA Arena in Pasay.

It would mean naturalized player Marcus Douthit having Junmar Fajardo as main backup, LA Tenorio and Jayson Castro splitting time at the point and Gary David, Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood working as the team’s wing men.

Forwards Kelly Williams, Marc Pingris and Ranidel de Ocampo also appear cinch to make the national team that needs just to make the top three in the coming Asian meet to bring the country back on the world stage for the first time in over three decades.

Depending on the PBA board’s answer on coach Chot Reyes' query on the league’s one-player-per-team policy, others with chances of making the roster are Larry Fonacier, Jimmy Alapag, Jared Dillinger, Sonny Thoss and Arwind Santos.

Seven-foot-one cadet player Greg Slaughter also has a shot at becoming the team’s third-string center.

The team’s Monday practices commence immediately after Reyes announced the composition of the team.

The Nationals step up their buildup in the last two months leading to the FIBA Asia Championship after the PBA decided to move the season-ending Governors Cup after the regional world qualifier.

The PBA board, led by chairman Robert Non of Barangay Ginebra, formalizes the decision in a special meeting today at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City.

Afterwards, Reyes will name the national roster or a small pool.

"First, I need to know the guidelines in getting the players. My request is I’ll be allowed to get 16," said Reyes.

Reyes has earlier said he intends to form a team that is quick and versatile with outside shooting.

"Magbubuo tayo ng team, di tayo magbubuo ng collection of superstars (We'll form a team. We'll not put together a collection of superstars)," he said.

"We'll never have size advantage so we’ll have a team that has speed and outside shooting. It must be versatile. It must be a team with role players," he added.

Reyes is well familiar with the Asian competition and the Asian players, having handled the Phl team in the 2007 Tokushima Asian championship. He was also an assistant to Rajko Toroman in the 2010 Guangzhou Asiad and in the 2011 Wuhan Asian meet.

With a bad break in the draw in 2007, the Philippines failed to make it past the group plays and settled for top finish in the consolation round.

But being the host now, the Philippines will enjoy the privilege of choosing its group during the draw slated June 6.

Meanwhile, the PBA is now also mulling on tweaking the format of its All-Star Week in an effort to further help the Nationals in their preparation for the FIBA Asia event.

A series between the Nationals and a PBA All-Star selection is being looked at for the event set in Digos, Davao del Sur.