Gary David to still train with Gilas, line-up change possible
MANILA, Philippines – There is still hope for Gary David or any player included in the initial Gilas Pilipinas pool to make it to the final 12-man line-up for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship.
David's agent Danny Espiritu bared the 37-year old guard was told to continue practicing with the Philippine national men's basketball team – despite not being included in the 12-man line-up submitted to FIBA for the continental tilt – because there is still a possibility that David might be inserted into the line-up. (READ: Romeo, Abueva lead 12-man Gilas FIBA Asia line-up)
"Tinawagan din ako ni Gary David. Sinabing hindi siya kasama, pero pinapa-practice pa rin siya kasi may final meeting pa, baka magbago pa yung line-up," Espiritu told Rappler via a phone call Tuesday night, September 8.
"Sabi may chance pa rin siyang masama sa line-up kung magchi-change."
(Gary David called me. He said he was told that he's not included in the line-up, but he is being asked to continue practicing because there is still a final meeting, the line-up could change. He was told there is still a change he might be included if they change the line-up.)
David, who has been a part of Gilas since the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, was a surprising cut from the final line-up announced Tuesday. But in a conversation with Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin to David, as relayed by Espiritu, David was told he might still be included.
According to Gilas Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio, there will be a managers' meeting on September 22, a day before the start of the FIBA Asia, wherein team managers from all participating teams will discuss possible replacements in the line-up.
"Replacements due to injuries will only be entertained; and it's subject to their approval. It's not automatic," Antonio explained.
"That's a standard for all FIBA tournaments – that there will be a managers' meeting a day or two before the tournament," he added.
The potential line-up change, however, will come at a cost of *USD 2,000 to USD 3,000 per head, according to Antonio. The deadline to submit the 12-man line-up was on Tuesday, September 8.
Teams can only pull replacements from the list of players who are included in the 24-man pool submitted a month before the tournament.
David was steady for Gilas throughout the Jones Cup and amassed 22 points to lead the team in the silver medal-clinching win over Chinese Taipei B on Sunday, September 6.
Incoming PBA rookie Troy Rosario, also handled by Espiritu, was not told to continue attending Gilas practice. This year's second overall draft pick was also cut from the final 12. Espiritu said the 23-year old forward understands and accepts the decision and will now focus on preparing for his first season with Talk 'N Text.
Other players who didn't make the final 12 are Jimmy Alapag, Aldrech Ramos, and Moala Tautuaa.
*USD 1 = P 46.88