16 PBA players included in PH pool
MANILA, Philippines – Denver Nugget’s JaVale McGee might suit up for the Philippine basketball team when it campaigns for the FIBA-Asia Championships next year.
The 7-foot NBA center has already given his go-signal to be a naturalized Filipino citizen and the process has already begun, according to PBA.ph.
National team coach Chot Reyes said he wanted to include McGee in the list to add more height to the Philippine roster.
McGee teaming up with naturalized citizen and fellow 7-footer Marcus Douthit could boost the Philippines' chances in the tournament.
Meanwhile, the PBA Board of Governors has already approved the inclusion of 16 league players into the national pool.
Included in the list are Gary David, Jayson Castro, Larry Fonacier, LA Tenorio, Alex Cabagnot, Enrico Villanueva, Ryan Reyes and Marc Pingris.
They join FIBA veterans Jimmy Alapag, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, James Yap, Gabe Norwood, Ranidel de Ocampo, Kelly Williams and Sonny Thoss.
“The only condition is that they don’t pull out the players in any conference of the PBA so as not to deprive the fans of their presence,” said PBA commissioner Chito Salud.
Salud said the Board is even willing to add four more PBA players in the national pool.
The national team will prepare for the coming Jones Cup in Taipei in August and the Stankovic Cup in Japan in September.
“I fully intend to use these tournaments as a big part of the selection process for the final line-up of the team,” Reyes said.