By REYNALD MAGALLON
TNT forward Kelly Williams got a call up to be part of Gilas Pilipinas 24-man pool for the sixth and final window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers amid the current issues that have been hampering the formation of the national team especially the depth of its frontlines.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director and spokesperson Sonny Barriors confirmed the addition of the 41-year-old Williams in the pool, replacing Ange Kouame who is set to go under the knife to repair a knee injury.
Aside from Kouame, the national team is also without Japeth Aguilar who is also sidelined by a knee sprain while 7-foot-3 center Kai Sotto has already begged off from suiting up in the two-game home stand against Lebanon on Feb. 24 and Jordan on Feb. 27.
Even pool member Raymond Almazan, despite attending the regular Monday practices is still questionable as his mother team Meralco will be playing a day before the Gilas games.
Carl Tamayo has been reportedly a no show as well in the past two sessions of Gilas practice as the former University of the Philippines gears up for a stint with Hiroshima Dragonflies in the Japan B. League.
That leaves Gilas with only San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo and 18-year-old Mason Amos as the only legitimate centers in the pool.
Williams last saw action for the national team when he beefed up a young Gilas team in the first round of the qualifiers against New Zealand and India. He first suited up for the national team back in 2007.