PBA cagers June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, and Kevin Alas are set to make a Gilas Pilipinas comeback after being included in the 16-man pool of national team that will see action in the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

/ 12 March 2022

Gilas head coach Chot Reyes on Friday announced the 16-man lineup of the men’s national basketball team for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.

It has been two years since Fajardo and Aguilar played for Gilas and made a golden run in the 2019 SEAG held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, meanwhile, Phoenix’s Wright and NLEX’s Alas will make a comeback after being present in 2019 SEAG and 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers, respectively. 

Coach Reyes said that the returnees will be teamed up with Japan B.League imports Thirdy Ravena and Dwight Ramos as well as fellow PBA players Robert Bolick, Kib Montalbo, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram, Mo Tautuaa, and Isaac Go.

Will Navarro, LeBron Lopez, and Caelum Harris completed the 16-man list sent by the PBA to the Vietnam SEA Games Organizing Committee (Viesgoc).

However, there is no assurance that the 16-line up will all be playing for the biennial regional sporting competition as only 12 players will make it in the basketball scene but Coach Reyes wants to bring them all to Vietnam.

“We plan to bring all 16 to Vietnam if it is possible,” said Reyes, who announced the pool following the TNT-NorthPort game at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

“For now, we can’t name a Final 12 roster but that is the pool. We had long meetings with the coaching staff and we felt that this is the line-up that will give us the best chance of winning the gold in the SEA Games.”

Still, Reyes showed gratitude as the PBA for lending players for the SEA Games campaign.

“We are very happy, we are very fortunate, we are very thankful to commissioner Willie and the PBA board for making available the following players,” said Reyes.