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Ex-Gilas mentors upbeat about line-up

Former national team coaches Jong Uichico and Chot Reyes both agreed that the decision of the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff, led by Tab Baldwin, must be respected and that Filipinos should rally behind the squad that will compete in next month’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

“Of course we support the decision, it’s a collective decision, not done by just a single person,” said Uichico who coached the national team in 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea.

As for Reyes, the mentor of Gilas 3.0 that placed second overall during the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship here to earn a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, said that Baldwin and his staff used a process of elimination that led them to come up with the final 12.

“I would say it was a process by the entire coaching staff. It really came down to about four names. But in the end, you have to respect the decision of the coaches,” said Reyes.

Some basketball observers questioned the non-inclusion of Calvin Abueva, who together with LA Tenorio were the two players cut when Baldwin revealed his final 12 players for the OQT last Sunday.

“The coaching staff obviously put a lot of premium in height, and in his position, medyo alanganin si Calvin,” said Reyes.