Cadets, Old and New Faces Gilas Pilipinas May Need

Gilas Pilipinas (photo by Peter Paul Baltazar)
Gilas Pilipinas (photo by Peter Paul Baltazar)

FIBA has yet to reveal the sanctions for the players involved in the unfortunate Gilas Pilipinas vs Australia Boomers brawl that happened last July 2. Regardless, most speculate that there will be suspensions or even bans.

On the side of Australia, the player who could bear the brunt is Daniel Kickert. The Aussie gave RR Pogoy of Gilas a forearm, believed to be one of the reasons why the free-for-all occurred. Thon Maker could be another player that could be penalized.

However, Gilas Pilipinas may lose at least 11 players from the fracas. This includes Pogoy, Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Carl Bryan Cruz and Troy Rosario. Allein Maliksi and Jio Jalalon, who did not suit up, are likely to be punished as well. It remains to be seen if Abu Tratter and Troy Rike will also be punished.

This means that only June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, and Baser Amer are the only ones sure for Gilas when they resume battle this September.

According to ESPN, any or all of the nine Gilas players ejected from the game could face up to two-game suspensions per FIBA’s 2011 guidelines.

Gilas will first face Iran on September 13 and then Qatar on September 17. They next host Kazakhstan and Iran once more on November 30 and December 3.

(L-R) CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, Kai Sotto and Thirdy Ravena (photos by Peter Baltazar)
(L-R) CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, Kai Sotto and Thirdy Ravena (photos by Peter Baltazar)

Who will Gilas field?

A logical solution would be to fill in the void/s with players from the Gilas Cadet core. Players like Ray Parks Jr., CJ Perez, Robert Bolick Jr., Kobe Paras, Kai Sotto, Thirdy Ravena and Matt Nieto could be options to fill in the vacancies.

As for the naturalized player privilege, Isaiah Austin could come in to sub for Blatche. If he is unavailable, Christian Standhardinger or Mo Tautuaa could be called to reinforce Gilas.

Other sources?

There are also players who are still around that could be called into action. Much of them were part of the special draft for Gilas Pilipinas players and most are playing in the PBA. This includes:

  1. Mac Belo
  2. Kevin Ferrer
  3. Von Pessumal
  4. Russel Escoto
  5. Ed Daquioag
  6. Alfonzo Gotladera
  7. Mike Tolomia
  8. Arnold Van Opstal

Of those players, Gotladera and Van Opstal have rarely been used by their respective PBA teams.

Another tour of duty for vets?

Another option could be to recall old faces who have since been discharged from Gilas Pilipinas duties. These include:

  1. LA Tenorio
  2. Jeff Chan
  3. Jared Dillinger
  4. Ranidel De Ocampo
  5. Larry Fonacier
  6. Paul Lee
  7. Sonny Thoss
  8. Matt Ganuelas-Rosser
  9. Beau Belga
  10. Marcio Lassiter
  11. Kelly Williams
  12. Raymond Almazan
  13. Chris Tiu

How about first-timers?

There is a chance that players who have not yet been given the chance to play for Gilas Pilipinas may be considered. Some names being mentioned include:

  1. Arwind Santos
  2. Greg Slaughter
  3. Stanley Pringle
  4. Vic Manuel
  5. Alex Cabagnot
  6. Scottie Thompson
  7. Sean Anthony
  8. Jason Perkins

For the Philippines, there is a lot of talent. In fact, their choices are not limited to the PBA. The MPBL and the PBA D-League have locals who can contribute as well.

The only problem now is the time element to whip the team to competitive form. Further to that, there is also the question of whether it will still be the same coaching staff calling the shots.