As one of the top four teams in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championsip, the Philippines National Basketball Team also known as Gilas Pilipinas is qualified to compete in the Olympic qualifying tournament that will consist of 18 national teams divided into three tournaments of six teams each. Only the top three teams from the three different contests will advance to the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Trying to clinch a spot in the 2016 Basketball Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the PBA board of governors have named 17 players to the national team pool for the Olympic wildcard qualifiers.
According to the PBA’s official Twitter account, the list includes:
- June Mar Fajardo (San Miguel)
- Marcio Lassiter (San Miguel)
- Japeth Aguilar (Ginebra)
- LA Tenorio (Ginebra)
- Greg Slaughter (Ginebra)
- Calvin Abueva (Alaska)
- Jeff Chan (Rain or Shine)
- Paul Lee (Rain or Shine)
- Gabe Norwood (Rain or Shine)
- Jayson Castro (Talk n' Text)
- Ranidel De Ocampo (Talk n' Text)
- Matt Ganuelas-Rosser (Talk n' Text)
- Ryan Reyes (Talk n' Text)
- Troy Rosario (Talk n' Text)
- Marc Pingris (Purefoods Star)
- Ian Sangalang (Purefoods Star)
- Terrence Romeo (Globalport)
The list was released as part of the 6-point resolution by the PBA to show its commitment to help the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) form the national men’s basketball team for the Olympic Qualifier. The resolution was made and announced during a special PBA Board Meeting held on October 14, at the PBA Office in Libis.
According to pro league, the players will be allowed to practice once a week on Mondays starting November.
The PBA will also adjust its schedule to accommodate the national team delaying its third conference, the Governors’ Cup, which starts after the Olympic Qualifying Tournament slated from July 5-10, 2016.
The SBP will announce the final 12-man lineup in January 2016 which expected to get help from naturalized player Andray Blatche and possibly Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson.
From FIBA Asia, the Philippines, Iran and Japan are qualified in the Olympic qualifiers. The other countries that earned the right to play in the Qualifying Tournament are New Zealand from Oceania, Angola, Tunisia and Senegal from Africa, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico from the Americas, France, Serbia, Greece, Italy and the Czech Republic from Europe.