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Gilas bares Asiad 'Dirty Dozen'

MANILA, Philippines - Despite nursing an injured left foot, Sol Mercado was included in the Final 12 of Smart Gilas Team Pilipinas for the 16th Asian Games basketball competition starting tomorrow in Guangzhou, China.

Also making the team are Mark Barroca, Jayvee Casio, Chris Tiu, Marcius Lassiter, Chris Lutz, Mac Baracael, Japeth Aguilar, Jason Ballesteros, Greg Slaughter, Kelly Williams and Asi Taulava.

Marcus Douthit is out since his naturalization papers were not processed in time. Dylan Ababou and Aldrech Ramos have been relegated to reserve list.

“The hardest part of a coach’s job is to tell guys like Dylan and Aldrech, who’ve been with the program since the start, that they didn’t make it. But that’s basketball,” said assistant coach Chot Reyes.

SBP officials submitted the Smart Gilas final lineup during the team managers’ meeting yesterday morning at the Guangzhou International Sports Arena.

According to SBP executive director Noli Eala, no Kuwaiti official was present in the meeting, but the original format and schedule stayed, pitting the Filipinos and the Kuwaitis in a knockout match at 7:15 p.m. tomorrow at the Guangti Gymnasium.

In a final warm-up for the Kuwait game, the Nationals were to battle the Dongguan Leopards last night in Dongguan City.

Should they get past the Kuwaitis, Smart Gilas earns a seat in the main draw, bracketed in Group E with Iran, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Qatar and the winner in the India-Afghanistan KO game.

SBP officials are hopeful of the Nationals’ chance against back-to-back FIBA Asia champion Iran with its top gun Nikah Bahrami out of the roster and 7-foot-2 center Hamed Haddadi a doubtful starter.

Host China, Jordan and South Korea loom as the top favorites.

The Koreans are aching to redeem themselves from a dismal fifth place finish in Doha, Qatar in 2006 – the first time in 48 years they missed a podium finish in the games.

In a determined bid to figure well in the medal race, the Koreans recruited NBA Hall of Fame coach Lenny Wilkens as technical adviser and twice pitched training camp in the United States.

This post first appeared on Online Filipino Hub, please read the originial post: here

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Gilas bares Asiad 'Dirty Dozen'


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