MANILA, Philippines -- High school standout Francis "Lebron" Lopez is the latest player to be called up by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to join the national basketball team.
A story posted by Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes on Instagram showed Lopez taking part in the team's warm-ups on Monday morning at the Moro Lorenzo Gym in the Ateneo de Manila University campus.
The 18-year-old Lopez was part of the Gilas Pilipinas squad that competed in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers last June in Clark, Pampanga.
He now joins the squad that is preparing for the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, set for February 24-28 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Courtesy of Chot Reyes on Instagram (@coachot)
Reyes' video also showed a glimpse of former Gilas mainstay and now assistant coach Marc Pingris joining the warm-up. Pingris last week accepted Reyes' offer to join the national team's coaching staff, where he will be working with Josh Reyes, Jong Uichico, and Nenad Vucinic.
Lopez, who played high school basketball for the Ateneo Blue Eaglets, has not seen action since last year's FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers where he played against Indonesia. He was supposed to join the upstart Overtime Elite league in the United States, but is currently dealing with issues regarding his visa.