Coach Joseller ‘Yeng’ Guiao expressed excitement at the prospect of seeing June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar and naturalized player Andray Blatche form the tallest front-court of the Philippine National Men’s Basketball team in history.
The four players are expected to play together in at least one game during the up-coming fifth window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
“For the first time in a long while, you will have June Mar, Greg, and Japeth playing together in a team with Blatche,” Guiao said.
“Definitely, lalaki talaga yung lineup natin,” Guiao added.
During the previous window, Fajardo and Slaughter did not suit up for Gilas Pilipinas due to injuries, while Blatche was suspended by FIBA due to his involvement in the in-game brawl between the national teams of Philippines and Australia in July.
The 6 ft. 11 naturalized will still be serving his three-game suspension when Gilas faces Kazakhstan on Nov. 30 but he will be eligible to play during the game against Iran on Dec. 03.
Both games will happen at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.
Either Fil-German Christian Standhardinger or Fil-American Stanley Pringle might be tapped to fill up the naturalized player spot of the Philippines for the game against Kazakhstan.
Guiao is expected to name his desired players for Gilas Pilipinas player pool when he meets with the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Board of Governors on Tuesday, November 6.
Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, Alex Cabagnot, Poy Erram, Scottie Thompson, Marcio Lassiter, Raymond Almazan, Ian Sangalang, Allei Maliksi, Beau Belga, Matthew Wright, and Asi Taulava are expected to be included in the player pool.
Suspended players Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, and Troy Rosario might also be considered for the player pool since they will already be eligible to play when the national team faces Iran.