MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas bolstered its depleted frontcourt unit by adding Justin Chua into its pool.
National team manager Gabby Cui confirmed the addition of the Phoenix center, who will vie for a spot in the final 12-man lineup for the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers this February.
Chua reported to practice on Sunday, February 9, as the team prepares for its hosting of Thailand on February 21 and its road game against Indonesia on February 23.
After Japeth Aguilar, Christian Standhardinger, and Mac Belo begged off, Gilas Pilipinas was forced to look elsewhere for a big man, resulting in the inclusion of Chua.
Standhardinger and Belo both begged off from the initial 24-man pool due to their respective injuries, while Aguilar is on a honeymoon.
Other big men in the pool are PBA veterans Marc Pingris and Poy Erram and amateurs Isaac Go and Justine Baltazar.
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.