Blatche, Paras, Rivero bolster TNT core for 2018 Asian Games

Back in May, the PBA Board held a special meeting to discuss the line-up that will compete in this year’s Asian Games on August 18 to September 2 in Jakarta and Penang Indonesia.

The PBA Governor’s Cup will be in full swing by that time and the PBA along with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) wanted to send the best team possible without disrupting the flow of the league. What was suggested was that a core of the TNT KaTropa, along with a handful of Alaska Aces and Gilas Cadets be sent to compete in the Asian Games.

National Team Coach Chot Reyes announced the Asian Games roster to ESPN 5 earlier today. He followed the initial play laid out last May 31 by forming a team composed of mainly members of the TNT KaTropa.

Leading the way are National Team members Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, RR Pogoy and Troy Rosario, the core of TNT. Joining them are fellow Katropa Jericho Cruz, Don Trollano, Anthony Semerad and Kelly Williams.

Andray Blatche, who returned earlier this month will be the main big man of the team. He joins the Philippine Team for another tour of duty in the Asian Games. Bolstering the line-up are mainstays of the Gilas 23 for 23 team Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero and Abu Tratter.

According to Coach Reyes, this roster balances out competitiveness and development.

“We want the Asian Games lineup to be a combination of competing for a medal as well as building for the future, thus the inclusion of three Cadets.”

Coach Reyes could have included Carl Bryan Cruz who the Alaska Aces made available for National Team duty. But He decided to go with a TNT core so that it doesn’t disrupt the Aces preparations for the Governor’s Cup.

The Philippines sent the FIBA World Cup team to the last Asian Games in 2014. They finished at 7th place, winning three out of their seven games.