MANILA — After slugging it out in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals, the key players of Phoenix and Tanduay will now have to be as one as they play for the Three Stars and a Sun.
Five players from the Accelerators, the eventual champions, and two more from the Rhum Masters, the runners-up, headline the “Final 12” of “Gilas 5.0” heading to Tehran for the FIBA Asia Challenge next month as announced by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) on Friday.
Mike Tolomia, Ed Daquioag, RR Pogoy, Mac Belo, and Russel Escoto made the cut among the Phoenix players, while Kevin Ferrer and Fonzo Gotladera are the Tanduay players in the final lineup alongside a former teammate, Von Pessumal, who opted to spend the Foundation Cup off.
Joining the eight aforementioned players are Cafe France-CEU’s Carl Cruz, Racal’s Chris Javier, Lyceum’s CJ Perez, and former D-League player Arnold Van Opstal, who, like Pessumal, sat out the season-ending conference. In fact, Van Opstal, who last played for Cebuana Lhuillier, did not play the entire 2016 season.
Josh Reyes will handle the Gilas squad going to the FIBA Asia Challenge, which serves as a qualifier for the FIBA Asia Cup next year. Ivan Saldajeno/PNA/northboundasia.com