Ferrer, Belo banner Philippine team in FIBA Asia Challenge

MANILA, Philippines – Well-known collegiate basketball standouts will make up the roster for the Philippine national team when it goes to Tehran, Iran for the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge from September 9-18.

On Thursday, August 25, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) released the final 12-man line-up for Gilas 5.0, headlined by UAAP MVP runner-up Kevin Ferrer and Finals MVP Mac Belo.

Belo’s teammates from FEU will also join the team with Mike Tolomia, Carl Bryan Cruz, Roger Pogoy and Russel Escoto inserted into the line-up. Ed Daquioag, another MVP candidate for UST last UAAP season, is also part of the 12-man roster.

Ateneo standouts Von Pessumal and Alfonzo Gotladera are included in the team together with Arnold Van Opstal and Chris Javier. Lyceum player CJ Perez, who’s currently serving residency and is the only one still playing college basketball, will also go to Iran.

Former UAAP MVPs Kiefer Ravena and Ray Parks are not included in the roster. Both are currently in the United States for training with hopes of making it to the NBA.

Josh Reyes, a long-time assistant coach for the Philippine team and the son of former national team head coach Chot Reyes, will call the orders from the bench for the team. 

The FIBA Asia Challenge, which used to be called the FIBA Asia Cup, “is the first step in the process of identifying the qualifiers for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup,” according to FIBA’s website.

“The top 5 finishers will earn their respective sub-zones additional berths for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup.”

The Philippines is in the same group as Chinese Taipei and India.

– Rappler.com