CEBUANO Junemar Fajardo made it to the final roster of the Gilas Pilipinas team that will compete in the 2013 Fiba Asia Men’s Championship on Aug. 1 to 11 in Manila.
This after Rain or Shine bruiser Beau Belga was the last man cut from the pool yesterday by head coach Chot Reyes after their first practice in Napier, New Zealand.
With the submission deadline for the Asian tilt set for today, Reyes set out for what he deemed to be “a coach’s most difficult task.” In the end, he came up with the formidable dozen that the country will be pinning its hopes on to capture a slot in the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain.
The final roster consists of guards Jayson Castro, Jimmy Alapag and LA Tenorio, wingmen Gary David, Larry Fonacier and Jeff Chan, forwards Marc Pingris and Gabe Norwood and big men Ranidel de Ocampo, Japeth Aguilar, naturalized player Marcus Douthit and Fajardo, a native of Pinamungahan town southwestern Cebu.
Belga was the last man added to the pool during their Lithuanian training camp. “Beau Belga: the ultimate professional. Tough to tell him. But in the end he understood what’s best for the team. Dakila ka,” Reyes said on Twitter.
The top three finishers of the Fiba Asia Championship in Manila will get a chance to compete in the prestigious 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain.
The Nationals are currently in the final stages of their preparation, with this 10-day New Zealand training camp aiming to sharpen them even further.
They embark on a six-game exhibition game series starting today. /Correspondent Jonas Panerio