MALAGA, Spain -- Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao seemed pleased with how Robert Bolick and CJ Perez performed in their training camp in Spain.
"I am very impressed with the two rookies, CJ Perez and Robert Bolick," Guiao said. "That they can handle that type of competition. It's a different level, but they handled it."
The two rookies made quite the impact in all four tune-up games in Spain. Bolick, in particular, received a lot of attention for his performance in the Torneo de Malaga. He led Gilas in scoring in both games, impressing with a 21-point outing in the loss against Congo before collecting 19 markers and seven rebounds in the win over the Ivory Coast.
Perez, on the other hand, had stellar outings in the two closed-door friendlies in Guadalajara. He finished with seven points in the blowout win over Congo, and scored 11 against the Ivory Coast. Despite not being the top scorer, Perez put his stamp on the games with his pesky defense and timely scoring.
"A lot of people saw what Robert Bolick did because those games were broadcast, televised in Malaga. But not too many people saw what CJ did in Guadalajara against these same two teams," he said. "If they were happy with what Robert did in Malaga, they would also be happy with what CJ did in Guadalajara."
With the two rookies performing well, Guiao admitted the decision on who will make the final World Cup roster got tougher.
"I'm equally impressed with what these two guys did," Guiao said. "For us, myself and my coaching staff, we're faced with a good problem."
Guiao added that they will use the last two friendlies against Australian NBL club Adelaide 36ers on August 23 and 25 in Manila to help them decide.
"We'll see them again in the Australia series, then we will make the final decision," Guiao said. "But as of now, we are very impressed."
Guiao said the final 12 will be named on August 26.
With just 12 slots to fill, there is a chance that neither of the rookies make the squad. But after a fruitful training camp in Spain, it wouldn't be surprising if we see both in the final lineup.