Troy Rosario and Calvin Abueva included in Gilas Pilipinas

Tab Baldwin continues his search for PBA players available to join the Philippine national men’s basketball team for the FIBA Asia Championship, several have confirmed their invites to be part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool. Alaska forward Calvin Abueva and Gilas cadet team member Troy Rosario both confirmed to Fraulein Olavario of News5 that they have been asked to be part of the pool. Abueva disclosed that he will attend the Gilas practice after he was informed by Alaska coach Alex Compton of the invite. “Yung coach ko palang yung tumatawag pero wala pa siyempre. Focus muna ko sa 3×3 na ito then after nito, siguro doon sila makakapagdesisyon,” Abueva said. “Yung management nakapagdesisyon na syempre. Na-invite na ko, then syempre di ko naman pwede agad agad na alisan ito.”

Alaska had previously made it known that they are willing to loan players to the national team as long as it doesn’t interfere with the team’s PBA campaign a policy shared by Dickie Bachmann, the team’s representative to the PBA Board. “If it’s offseason, we don’t have any problem loaning our players,” Bachmann said. Abueva is excited about the chance to represent the Philippines, something he did in last year’s FIBA 3×3 World Tour event in Manila. He will do the same in this year’s tournament, bannering the Manila North team alongside Aces teammate Vic Manuel, Kia/Mahindra guard Karl Dehesa and PBA Draft hopeful Rosario. And while he’s looking forward to a potential FIBA Asia stint, his focus right now is on the 3×3 tournament, which begins on August 1. “Excited. Syempre mas excited muna ko dito kasi ibang tournament din ito, hindi ba? Mas malaki sa susunod,” added Abueva. Rosario, too, is excited to continue his stint with the Gilas program after representing the country in the recent Southeast Asian Games basketball tournament. “Pinapapunta lang ako ni Boss Butch Antonio, practice player yata. Sinabi niya magpunta lang daw ako. Kasama daw ako sa pool, yun ang sabi ni Boss Butch kahapon. Sabi ko, ‘Sige boss’. Syempre masaya ako na mapapasama nanaman ako sa pool, try ko lang,” Rosario added. The soon-to-be PBA rookie is trying to manage his expectations, although he might have a legitimate shot at making the team with players like June Mar Fajardo and Marc Pingris still uncertain due to health and personal reasons. “Hindi ko iniisip yun. Basta mag-practice muna ko,” Rosario said while adding that a national team stint could help his stock in the 2015 PBA Rookie Draft.
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