LUCENA City— Gilas Pilipinas cadets Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy and Jio Jalalon earned big promotions as the three promising pro league rookies were tapped to team up with naturalized player Andray Blatche and eight other solid PBA veterans for the country’s title campaign in the 12th SEABA Championships slated next month.
No less than national team coach Chot Reyes made the formal announcement on Friday night after Gilas Pilipinas defeated powerhouse PBA-Team Luzon in stunning fashion 122-111 in the second leg of this year’s PBA All-Star Week at the Quezon Convention Center here.
As expected, Reyes named usual suspects—June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Japeth Aguilar, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Raymond Almazan, Troy Rosario and Allein Maliksi—to the 12-strong Gilas unit which will gun for the lone FIBA Asia Cup ticket in the May 12 to 18 spectacle at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The co-MVP in the Mindanao All-Star leg in Cagayan de Oro City two night ago and the hands-down MVP choice in the Lucena edition, the 6-foot-4 Wright will assume the national team duties for the first time in nearly a decade since the Fil-Canadian shooting specialist donned the country’s tricolors back in the 2008 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship.
The 6-foot-2 Pogoy and the 5-foot-9 Jalalon previously suited up for the national team in the 2016 SEABA Cup in Bangkok, Thailand where they helped the Nationals assert their dominance in the region, with Reyes’ son Josh calling the shots.
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