MANILA, Philippines—Rain Or Shine's Javee Mocon is the latest player to join the Philippines' 24-man pool for the upcoming window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers later this month.
The swingman took part in practice together with 18 other players at Meralco Gym on Tuesday night.
Mocon's participation was greatly welcomed by interim Gilas Pilipinas coach Mark Dickel, who noted that the Elasto Painter player had given Dickel's TNT KaTropa a lot of trouble when they played in the PBA.
"(I'm) obviously a huge admirer of him from the PBA. He plays great against Talk 'N Text every time he plays us, so it was good to see him up close," said Dickel.
"I mean, he's a really good player, you know, well-coached. So, it was great to have him here."
Mocon said it was a "no-brainer" to join the national team pool after being invited by Gilas manager Gabby Cui Monday morning.
"Siyempre, masaya kasi Team Pilipinas 'yan. I will never say no, kahit anong araw, kahit anong nafi-feel ko sa call-up ng Gilas Pilipinas. It's a privilege na ma-consider. It's a blessing in itself, kahit nasa pool pa lang ako," said the former San Beda standout.
Joining Mocon in training was Kiefer Ravena, who on Sunday was tapped as the team's captain for the February window.
Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Matt and Mike Nieto, Dwight Ramos, and Dave Ildefonso were all present, as well as Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano and JD Tungcab. Also there were Rey Suerte and Allyn Bulanadi.
TNT's Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario, Phoenix's Justin Chua, Columbian Dyip's CJ Perez, and NLEX's Poy Erram were the pros present.
Magnolia veteran Marc Pingris was also there, but stayed at the sidelines after taking a knock in his knee.
"As soon we can, we'd like to get him back in, but if not, then there's a real benefit just having him to talk to all the younger guys and help, so it's great to have him here," Dickel said of Pingris.
The Philippines will host Thailand on February 20 before traveling to Indonesia for a game on February 23.
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