Alapag completes Gilas five for World Cup

By Nelson Beltran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 19 2014 08:26 AM | Updated as of Aug 19 2014 04:26 PM

Dillinger joins Douthit, Belga in sidelines

MANILA, Philippines - Jimmy Alapag, who's been into many international wars since the 2007 Tokushima Asian meet, is making his swan song as a national player in the coming world championship in Spain.

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes named his Final 12 for the 2014 FIBA World Cup as they headed back to Vitoria, Spain for the stretch run of their preparation for the world meet where they play Croatia, Greece, Argentina, Puerto Rico and Senegal in Group B in Seville.

Alapag kept his spot on the team – the lone difference from the roster named earlier for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.

The 30-year-old Fil-Am playmaker, the 2003 PBA Rookie of the Year and 2011 PBA MVP who’s also been to the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, was chosen over Jared Dillinger.

Rain or Shine stalwart Paul Lee, as expected, was named to take the spot of the injury-stricken Larry Fonacier.

Making both the Incheon Games and the World Cup are naturalized player Andray Blatche, Junmar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Ranidel de Ocampo, Marc Pingris, Gabe Norwood, Jeff Chan, Gary David, LA Tenorio and Jayson Castro.

Aside from Dillinger, other Gilas pool members cut for the Spanish joust are Gilas original naturalized reinforcement Marcus Douthit, longtime reserve Beau Belga and Jay Washington.

“We are tapping Paul Lee to take Larry Fonacier’s spot and Andray Blatche as our naturalized player for the World Cup. God bless us all #PUSO!” said the Gilas coach on his Twitter account @coachot.

Blatche and Lee are two replacements from the Gilas team that worked for the country’s return stint in the world meet in the last FIBA Asia Championship held at the MOA Arena in Pasay.

Alapag will also be ceding his spot after the World Championship as per his personal talk with the Gilas coach.

The Talk n Text ace guard feels he has served the country enough that he’s now ready to give way to younger players.

But not after the World Cup – the grandest stage of basketball where he’s to outskills against the likes of Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol, the Luis Scola and the Renaldo Balkman.

He’ll be happy to cheer for Gilas in Incheon.