Blatche, Standhardinger lead 14-man Gilas pool for last FIBA World Cup Qualifiers window

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) released on Tuesday the 14-man pool Gilas Pilipinas will use for the sixth and final window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

In the pool, Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao included naturalized player Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Mark Barroca, Paul Lee, Scottie Thompson, Marcio Lassiter, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Japeth Aguilar, Poy Erram, June Mar Fajardo, Raymond Almazan and Roger Pogoy.

Christian Standhardinger, who also made the list, will serve as a backup naturalized player.

SBP president Al Panlilio expressed his gratitude for PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and the Board of Governors for approving the release of players for practices. The PBA will also take a break during the final window of the World Cup qualifiers.

"As this window is critical in our campaign, we would like to thank again the support of the PBA in making this PBA players available," said SBP President Al Panlilio, who remains optimistic of the country's chances.

"We are also happy to announce that Andray Blatche has committed to help our drive to qualify for the FIBA World Cup in China."

The national team, which expects Blatche to arrive the first week of February, will resume its practice sessions on January 21. The team will then fly to the Middle East during the second week of February for a series of tune-up games.

Since Guiao took over the coaching duties, the national team has gone 1-3. The most recent two setbacks, which were played in Manila, dropped the Philippines to fourth place with a 5-5 card in Group F behind Australia (9-1), Iran (7-3) and Japan (6-4).

Gilas' final two games will be against Qatar on February 21 and Kazakhstan on February 25.