MANILA, Philippines -- The country's collegiate stars will get the chance to showcase their skills for Gilas Pilipinas in upcoming FIBA events in July.
National team head coach Chot Reyes said Wednesday night that he plans to call up UAAP and NCAA players when the Philippines competes in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers and the FIBA Asia Cup 2022 in July.
"This coming window, the PBA is ongoing, so now, fortunately the UAAP and NCAA is done so we are going to send UAAP and NCAA players, mostly, to that," Reyes said during an appearance on Play It Right TV.
Gilas will see action in the World Cup qualifiers on July 1 against India and on July 3 against New Zealand. Both games will be held at the Eventfinda Stadium in Auckland.
Collegiate stars will also be called up to the FIBA Asia Cup 2022 in Jakarta, Indonesia from July 12-24, as the PBA's All-Filipino Conference will be ongoing at that time.
"At the same time, we wanted to really have the opportunity to expose, you know, Carl Tamayo, SJ Belangel, Dave Ildefonso, even guys like maybe James Spencer of UP, Justine Baltazar, we really want to be able to expose them to higher level Asian competition," said Reyes.
The young players will be joined by the likes of Japan-based professionals Thirdy Ravena and Dwight Ramos. Reyes expects Kiefer Ravena to also be available for selection, as well as Francis Lopez.
The coach made his first public comments after the Philippines surrendered the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games with a shock 85-81 defeat against Indonesia in the gold medal match in Hanoi last Sunday.
The defeat marked the end of the Philippines' three-decade stranglehold on the SEA Games gold, as Gilas has won the men's basketball crown in every edition of the event since 1991.
"I personally felt hugely, hugely disappointed. I know that I have let a lot of people down," Reyes said of the result. "I immediately took responsibility and accountability for the defeat… I really wish that the result were different."
Nonetheless, Reyes said that the national team has to move on from the loss, especially as they still have a busy schedule for the rest of the year. There will also be another SEA Games in 2023, hosted by Cambodia, where they will seek to regain the gold.
"In as much as we didn't want it to happen, unfortunately, it did. So there's nothing we can do but face up to it, learn from the experience, and move forward. Face the consequences, face the backlash," Reyes said.