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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Worst Case Scenario for Gilas 3.0 Pool

It seems like the release of the 26-man pool for Gilas 3.0 submitted by national team coach Tab Baldwin is taking forever. Speculations are ripe that several PBA teams are reluctant in loaning their players to the national cause. If this is true, then maybe we can take a look at a worst case scenario wherein only the MVP-controlled teams(Meralco, NLEX, Talk N'Text) will be loaning players to the national pool. I will only be considering those who did quite well in the 40th season of the Philippine Basketball Association as well as the former members of the pool during coach Chot Reyes' time as head coach. I will also be considering that Andray Blatche may not make himself available for the team.

Marcus Douthit, 6-10, Center 

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Gilas 3.0 may have to settle for aging center Marcus Douthit as the naturalized player in the lineup in the event Andray Blatche decides not to suit up. Douthit must get himself into top shape real fast as much will be expected of him down low as he battle the likes of China's Yi Jianlian, Chinese Taipei's Quincy Davis III, and Iran's Hamed Haddadi.

Asi Taulava, 6-9, Center 

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While June Mar Fajardo might skip national team duty this time due to a plantar fasciitis injury and the eligibility of Greg Slaughter eligibility in doubt, Asi Taulava have expressed willingness to serve the national team once again. And the evergreen center is our next best center outside of Slaughter and Fajardo who has the size needed for international competition. He has tons of experience too, although he may be a tad slower now at age 42. 

Reynel Hugnatan, 6-5, Forward 

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One of only 2 real power forwards in this list, the ageless Reynel Hugnatan should get a shot. And hopefully, when he gets the call, he will be able to keep up with bigger opponents at the post.

Enrico Villanueva, 6-5, Forward

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The other real banger on this list, Enrico Villanueva's plusses include some international experience. He has proven in the 2012 Jones Cup that he can somehow keep up with bigger opponents.

Anthony Washington, 6-6, Forward

This list is abundant in stretch 4's, players who can play both the power forward and small forward slots. Anthony Washington is on this list by virtue of his experience as part of the national team pool for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. Although he did not make the final cut last year, he did have some good experience playing club teams from Europe as well as other national teams during the lead up to the World Cup. He is athletic, can slash to the basket, and can shoot from the outside. Probably one of three players on this list who can play positions 2,3, and 4.

Aldrech Ramos, 6-6, Forward 

Aldrech John Ramos is reportedly on the radar of coach Tab and could have been considered as part of the original 26-man pool. Ramos is a lengthy forward who was used to playing center in college and is thriving as a stretch 4 in the professional league. While he may be too small to bang bodies inside the lane, he is someone who can occasionally hit the outside shot. He will be a role player at best should he make it to the team.

Nino Canaleta, 6-5, Forward 

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Nino Canaleta's strengths would be his athleticism, slashing, and outside shooting. He can play at least 3 positions: shooting guard, small forward, and power forward. That would be a luxury for a coach.

Ranidel De Ocampo, 6-5, Forward

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He was the PBA's best power forward in Season 40 and a world cup veteran. Ranidel de Ocampo should be a shoo-in to make this team as the starting power forward.

Matt Ganuelas Rosser, 6-4, Forward

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Another long time member of the Gilas Cadets who recently turned pro, Matt Rosser has showcased his trademark game as a defensive stopper, an athletic wingman, and an efficient scorer. He has the ability to play two-guard and may see minutes at both small forward and power forward spots. We won't miss Gabe Norwood that much with Matt around.

Jared Dillinger, 6-3, Guard 

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Jared Dillinger has made quite an impressive comeback from injury making the final cut to the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. He has recently been playing the best basketball of his life too. He has experience playing with club teams in Europe and against other national teams, a valuable experience he can bring into Gilas 3.0.

Gary David, 6-2, Guard 

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Many criticized Gary David's inclusion into the previous national team rosters. But one has to admire Gary's willingness to serve the flag making himself available for the national team every time he is called. He wouldn't mind doing it again. He also has a wealth of international experience now and his leadership will be crucial for the national team.

Larry Fonacier, 6-2, Guard

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Larry Fonacier gave up his spot in the national team pool for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain due to injuries. Prior to that, Larry was a vital piece in the Philippines' run to the runner-up finish in the 2013 Asian championships. He deserves another tour of duty.

Mark Cardona, 6-0, Guard

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A scrappy guard known for his teardrop shot, Mark Cardona has shown that he has a big heart and a thirst to win although he couldn't get his NLEX team to the finals in any of the 3 conferences in Season 40. Cardona has an enviable ability to create shots and find ways to score even as an undersized two-guard in the professional league. Hopefully that shot-creating ability will be put to good use against taller international opponents.

Kevin Alas, 6-0, Guard

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Kevin Louie Alas is no stranger to international competition as he has long been with the Gilas cadets. A fearless daredevil with a good shooting touch from outside, Kevin is also familiar with international play as well as many of the national team mainstays on this list. He can play both guard positions too.

Jonas Villanueva, 6-0, Guard

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Jonas Villanueva is on this list as an insurance point guard just in case any of the top guards get injured in training. But make no mistake about it, Jonas is as capable. He is also probably the better shooter among point guards in this list.

Jayson Castro William, 5-11, Guard

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He was Asia's best point guard in 2013. Jayson Castro William can validate that award in the 2015 Asian championships in Changsha, Hunan, China. 

L.A. Tenorio, 5-8, Guard

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You might wonder why a Ginebra player is on this list. Well, the reason Lewis Alfred Tenorio is on this list is because a clause in his player contract states that he cannot be kept from playing for the national team. He has played with the best in the world, he deserves to again be considered.

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