Former Gilas campaigners Chris Tiu and Aldrech Ramos rejoin the national team along with NLEX Road Warriors Garvo Lanete, Dave Marcelo, Eman Monfort, Woody Co and Borgie Hermida. Cebuana Lhuiller’s Vic Manuel was supposed to be the 12th member of the team after he committed to Gilas team manager Butch Antonio, but he failed to show up in practices and would not return calls.
The Nationals will be playing Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and host Thailand in the five-day joust.
Antonio confirmed that the three Alaska stars got the go-signal from their team and the PBA, after the Aces bowed out of contention in the on-going Governor’s Cup of the pro league. Baracael was among the pioneer members of the Smart Gilas team under former coach Rajko Toroman.
Fil-Ams Chris Ellis and Cliff Hodge, who both were with the Smart Sinag national team that bagged the gold in the SEA Games last year, were dropped from the roster due to eligibility problems as a result of their citizenship. A similar problem was experienced by the original Gilas squad that placed 4th in the FIBA Asia Championship last year, when the governing body questioned the citizenships of Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter. Both players were unable to play in the Nationals’ first two games in that tournament, against the United Arab Emirates and eventual champion China. The issue was resolved before Gilas’ third game.
Meanwhile, Douthit arrived from the United States yesterday and joined the national team’s preparation for the SEABA. The former Providence College standout went to the US to attend court hearings for the custody of his daughter. Douthit was the best player in the FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan, China last year, averaging 21.9 points and 12.2 rebounds for Gilas, eclipsing NBA veterans Yi Jianlian’s (China) 16.6 points and 10.6 rebounds, and Hamed Haddadi’s (Iran) 15.4 markers and 11.4 boards.