MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine has gotten approval from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Board of Governors to represent the country in the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia.
The core of the Elasto Painters will wear the national team colors in the Asiad, with Filipino-American guard Jordan Clarkson possibly beefing up the team.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas on Tuesday confirmed that the Rain or Shine core, along with Clarkson, had been included in the 18-man line-up that they will now submit to the Asian Games organizers in Indonesia.
The original plan was for the TNT KaTropa squad, along with Andray Blatche, to represent the country.
However, their participation was called into question after several members of the team were suspended in the wake of the Gilas Pilipinas-Australia brawl last July 2.
"May pinag-usapan na ang mga governors. Ifa-finalize na lang nila, at mukhang Rain or Shine," PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said Tuesday during a press conference ahead of the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals.
Alfrancis Chua, the team governor of Barangay Ginebra, revealed that the board had asked if they can send San Miguel Beer, the defending champions in the Philippine Cup and the Commissioner's Cup.
"Nag-tanong sila kung pwede San Miguel. So me and (SMB) governor Robert (Non), nag-usap kami. Usapan namin, teka muna, medyo pagod na rin," Chua said.
Thus, they decided to give the chance to the team that ended No. 1 in the elimination round of the second conference – Rain or Shine.
"Sabi ko, kung sino na lang ang No. 1 bago ang semis. So napili namin, Rain or Shine," he explained.
Still up in the air is who will play for the national team in the upcoming window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers. Gilas Pilipinas is through to the second round, but will be missing 10 players in its first game of the window in September.
Chua said several names have already been submitted – including players from the San Miguel Corp. teams who are eager to represent the country.
"We'll see what's gonna happen," he said. "Pag-usapan namin sa Thursday."
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