RP-Gilas make it to Asian Games

BETTER than late, than be left out.

Just in the nick of time, the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) officially forwarded to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) the final 12-man line up of the basketball team for the 16th Asian Games slated Nov. 12-27 in Guangzhou, China.

Team manager Frankie Lim, after a close door meeting with SPB chief Manny Pangilinan and Serbian mentor Radjo Toroman, came out with the final line up and hurriedly transmitted to the POC Asian Games secretariat headed by Chief de Mission Joey Romasanta.

Old warrior Asi Taulava, the controversial Filipino-Tongan, and Fil-American Kelly Williams, both last-minute addition in the squad, bannered the 12-man RP squad that eyeing o improve on the country‘s fourth-place finish in the 2002 Busan Games.

The Philippines, then under FIBA suspension, failed to play in the 2006 Doha Games.

Joining Taulava and Williams are Andy Barroca, Chris Tiu, Joseph Casio, Dylan Ababou, Japeth Aguilar, Gregory William Slaughter, Marnel Baracael, Jason Ballesteros, Marcio Lassiter and Aldrech Ramos.

Although the list is already official, changes are still open once the SBP secured Congress naturalization for Fil-Ams Marcus Douthit and Chris Lutz.

On Tuesday’s PSA Forum, Asiad screening committee member Moyong Martelino have imposed a 5p.m. (yesterday) deadline for the SBP to come out with its official 12-man line-up.

Failure to do so means an automatic erasure of the team in the Team delegation line up.

“We need to follow orders. Hindi naman tayo mga bata rito na kailangan paulit-ulit na sabihan. We have the deadline from the organizers so we have to follow rules,” said Martelino.

The deadline for the submission of complete lineup was last September 15, but the SBP requesting to extend it on Sept. 19.

Martelino added that even Douthit and Lutz received their naturalization, they can’t joined the team since their name was not included in the list that SBP applied for accreditation in Guangzhou.

“The name of the game in Asian Games is accreditation. Sorry to tell you but the two players can’t joined the team since they are not included in the list,” said Martelino, a long time secretary general of the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC).  Edwin Rollon

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