Source : AKTV
|The honor to wear PILIPINAS on your chest.|
Photo by TITAN
Naturalized player Marcus Douthit will spearhead the country’s campaign in the competition, in which the Nationals finished second two years ago.
Beefing up the Philippine five are PBA veterans Jay-R Reyes and Ronjay Buenafe of Meralco and Air 21 forward Nino Canaleta.
Reyes and Canaleta took the frontline spots of Petron Blaze’s Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo, who failed to get the go-signal from team management to join the national pool, while Buenafe is filling in for GlobalPort’s Gary David.
David, along with LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, had wanted to join the team in Dubai but opted to rest their respective injuries.
Taking the spot of Tenorio in the squad is Filipino-American guard Justin Melton, a 5-foot-11 playmaker out of Mount Olive College.
Reyes rounds up his lineup with top amateurs led by Greg Slaughter along with NLEX teammates Matthew Rosser, Garvo Lanete, RR Garcia, Ronald Pascual, Kevin Alas, and Jake Pascual.
Reyes said Kiefer Ravena decided not to join the team because of his studies with Ateneo.
The team is reserving the remaining two slots for Japeth Aguilar and Fil-Am Isaac Holstein, a 6-foot-9 forward from West Virginia State University. Aguilar is still in the United States after trying out for a spot the NBA D-League. He was drafted by the Santa Cruz Warriors but was cut from the final roster.
Aside from SMART-Gilas, the other participating teams are the United Arab Emirates national squad, Al Ahli from Dubai, Kazakhstan and Lebanon, which will be sending three clubs for the tournament.
Reyes has said the competition is part of the team’s buildup for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, which serves as the qualifier for the 2014 FIBA World Cup.