Coach Tab Baldwin: No guaranteed spots in Gilas roster

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 12 2021 04:33 PM

Coach Tab Baldwin: No guaranteed spots in Gilas roster 1
Thirdy Ravena has previously represented the Philippines in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers and the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers. But like everyone else, he has to earn his spot in the 12-man lineup of Gilas Pilipinas. FIBA.basketball

MANILA, Philippines -- Thirdy Ravena has been invited to join the Gilas Pilipinas pool as the national team prepares for the FIBA Asia Cup, but there's no assurance that he will make the final 12-man roster.

Indeed, Gilas Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin made it clear that none of the players are guaranteed their places in the final lineup.

Speaking to former PBA commissioner Noli Eala on his "Power and Play" program, Baldwin said Ravena is among the players that they have invited to join their pool when they return to camp.

"I have spoken with Thirdy, and I have invited him. He's not the only one, but there are discussions going on with SBP representation right now," said Baldwin.

At the moment, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is in touch with the players to work out the details of their commitment to the national team, particularly if they also have a professional contract.
Baldwin said he hopes to finalize the situation "within the next several days." 

"I'm hoping for a positive outcome there, I'm hoping for Thirdy to get into camp," he said.

The 24-year-old Ravena last played for the Philippines in February 2020, in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers. He was the best player for Gilas in a 100-70 win over Indonesia, putting up 23 points, eight rebounds, and three assists in 23 minutes. 

Since then, he has taken his act to Japan, playing for the San-En NeoPhoenix in the B.League. Recently, he signed a contract extension with the team. 

Ravena is among the players that Baldwin believes can be quickly assimilated into the team, given his familiarity with the system. The swingman played four years for Baldwin in the Ateneo de Manila University.

Nonetheless, there's no guarantee that he will be part of the final 12-man roster.

"I think everybody needs to understand -- there's nothing given here. Thirdy is invited to be part of the pool, he's not invited to be on the 12-man roster," said Baldwin.

"And Matt Nieto, Rey Suerte, Kemark Carino, Allyn Bulandi, Lebron Lopez, all of these guys will be back in as well. They're invited into the pool, but there's no guaranteed spots," he stressed.

Not even the 12 players who played for Gilas in the recent FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Serbia will be assured of their places.

"There's no guaranteed spots," Baldwin said.

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