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SBP to reveal Gilas final 12 on Aug. 23

(UPDATE) WITH nine days to go before the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Filipino basketball fans are anxious to know who will make the final 12 for Gilas Pilipinas, and who among the remaining members of the pool will get cut.

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio said he's well aware of the public's growing desire to know who gets to play for the country in the world basketball showpiece.

(Clockwise from top left) Jordan Clarkson, Kai Sotto, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, June Mar Fajardo, Kiefer Ravena, Dwight Ramos and CJ Perez. FIBA PHOTOS

But he also noted that the national squad's last three friendly matches will cement the final 12 as coach Chot Reyes and his assistants make the final decision sometime next week.

“[The] deadline, from a FIBA point of view, the deadline is August 23, two days before the game [on opening day]. That's when the team managers meet up and declare the lineup,” Panlilio said.

“I know that the other countries have done so, but it's very hard for the coaches to really make the decision,” he admitted. “I think the next three games in the friendlies will solidify the coaches minds on the final 12.”

After Gilas' China pocket tournament over a week ago that saw the Philippines play Senegal and Iran Team B twice, the Philippine team has held a series of closed-door practices for the past week with Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson in tow.

And added good news is that reigning PBA Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson finally rejoined team practice after recovering from a metacarpal fracture on his shooting hand, which he sustained a month ago in the Gilas' training camp in Europe.

Gilas' last three friendly matches include Ivory Coast on Friday, Montenegro this coming Sunday and Mexico next Monday.

Reyes has said in previous interviews that the friendly matches were arranged by design as they tried to simulate the foreign national squads they will be facing in the group stage play of the FIBA World Cup.

The Philippines will face off with the Dominican Republic, led by NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns, on opening night on August 25, followed by African powerhouse Angola (August 27), before closing the preliminaries against world No. 10 Italy (August 29).

The SBP president also took the time to thank all the members in the Gilas pool for giving their all, while making special mention of Justin Brownlee.

“Everybody was there. I'm glad to see that … I think the difficulty for the coaches now is deciding the Final 12. I have to say thank you to everybody in the pool who sacrificed for Gilas, not being guaranteed a spot. Also, Justin Brownlee, thank you very much for what he has done and just contributed to this journey,” said Panlilio.

Brownlee, who helped Gilas regain the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia last May, will be playing for the Philippines in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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