Tim Cone will have the unenviable task of picking players for his final roster as they prepare to go up against top-tier basketball teams in Southeast Asia.
The multi-titled PBA coach formed a 15-man pool which includes some of his players from the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel citing familiarity as his point of emphasis. As much as Filipinos would love to have all of them, he would have to narrow it down to 12 players when required to submit the final lineup.
As the SEA Games are fast approaching, today, FOX Sports Philippines presents some candidates who are likely to get cut for the final Gilas Pilipinas roster.
Art Dela Cruz
The former San Beda forward has come a long way ever since he ruptured his Achilles tendon back in 2017. He looks to have fully recovered and is slowly getting his footing as he’s playing well in the ongoing 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup with averages of 7.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per contest.
Even with his potential, Dela Cruz looks to be an odd fit for the Gilas roster. While he’s known as a versatile all-around player, it’s unclear on what specific role he’ll play for coach Tim Cone making him a likely cut candidate. Nonetheless, being named in the pool is quite an achievement for the 27-year-old and for sure he’ll have his chances later in his career.
LA Tenorio has been a mainstay for the national team and everyone knows what he can bring to the table with his playmaking skills and veteran leadership. However, with his advancing age, perhaps it’s better if his spot will be given to other guys like Stanley Pringle or Scottie Thompson.
Tenorio doesn’t have anything to prove already with his wealth of knowledge and international experience and for sure he will consider getting into coaching as he approaches the twilight of his career.
Most fans were surprised when Vic Manuel was selected to be part of the national team pool, but he’s made a strong case given his superb play for the Alaska Aces in the past few conferences. As of this writing, “The Muscle Man” is averaging 13.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in six games for the Jeffrey Cariaso-mentored club in this Governors’ Cup.
But with the team’s surplus of big men composing the likes of June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, and Christian Standhardinger, Coach Tim Cone will have a hard time finding playing minutes for the undersized Vic Manuel.
(Images from PBA)