No new players have been added to the official lineup of the RP-Smart Gilas to the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.
Not at the moment.
Beating the strict deadline imposed by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) formally submitted its roster for the Nov. 12-27 meet Wednesday, with skipper Chris Tiu and Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) reinforcements Asi Taulava and Kelly Williams spearheading the team.
Also in the list are Mark Barroca, Mac Baracael, Dylan Ababou, Japeth Aguilar, Jason Ballesteros, JV Casio, Greg Slaughter, Aldrech Ramos and Marcio Lassiter.
Last Tuesday, the POC working committee gave the SBP until 5 p.m. of Wednesday to have its men’s basketball team roster submitted at its office on the third floor of the Philsports Arena, or face the possibility of missing the Asiad.
The lineup will already be forwarded to the Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (GAGOC) along with the rest of the delegation members comprising the Philippine team.
But last-minute changes in the team can be made if the need arises, such as injuries to players, opening the possibility of adding another player – be it from the PBA or any of those included in the training pool of the national squad.
“We can do that," national coach Rajko Toroman admitted. “I think we have to inform the organizers just before the team manager’s meeting about a possible change in the lineup because of injury."
“The tournament is two months away, and we don’t know if something will happen to one, two or maybe five players," he said. “Somebody might get injured, so there is really the possibility of changes (in the lineup)."
Of the players included in the official list, the 6-foot Lassiter is the one who remains doubtful after dislocating his hip during the team’s stint in the Stankovic Cup. The Fil-American guard is now in the U.S. undergoing rehabilitation.
Toroman earlier said there is no need to tap one more player from the PBA should Lassiterbe healthy enough to suit up for the Asiad.
Otherwise, he’ll be eyeing Rain or Shine’s Sol Mercado and Gabe Norwood, Powerade’s RenRen Ritualo, and Dondon Hontiveros of San Miguel as possible alternates.
A long shot for a possible slot in the team is foreign-bred Marcus Douthit, assuming he’ll be able to acquire a Philippine passport before the Asiad. His application for naturalization is already being discussed by the Justice Committee of the House of Representatives.
A separate accreditation will be applied by the team should a late addition arise, according to RP-Smart Gilas deputy project director Butch Antonio. This will be coursed through the POC working committee and to the GAGOC. - KY/RCJ, GMANews.TV