By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Ilonggo guard Ferdinand “Thirdy” Ravena III and Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. have been ruled out of the 12-man roster of the Gilas Pilipinas ahead of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, which will begin this Friday, August 25.
According to a report by Spin.ph’s Homer Sayson, the two Japan B.League Asian quota players were delisted from the choices after not being given minutes by head coach Vincent “Chot” Reyes in their friendlies.
Unlike Thirdy, his elder brother Kiefer Ravena was reported to have an “excellent chance” of making it to the final 12 to serve as the national men’s basketball team’s backup point guard.
Kiefer, who currently plays for the Shiga Lakes in Japan B.League, had a decent showing in Gilas Pilipinas’ friendly matches against Iran and Senegal in China earlier this month.
However, the former NLEX Road Warriors star was limited during their three friendly games against Ivory Coast, Montenegro and Mexico with Earl Scottie Thompson back from injury.
Meanwhile, among those who are reportedly sure for the final lineup are Utah Jazz point guard Jordan Clarkson as well as Japan B.League players Kai Sotto, Dwight Ramos and center AJ Edu.
Others who are reportedly shoo-in for the World Cup are Thompson and his Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings teammates Japeth Aguilar and Jamie Malonzo, and San Miguel Beermen’s June Mar Fajardo.
Fighting for the last four spots in the Gilas team are Kiefer, Korean Basketball League import Rhenz Abando, Tropang Giga’s Roger Pogoy and Calvin Oftana, Beermen’s Jaymar Perez, and Meralco Bolts’ Chris Newsome.
Reyes is scheduled to release his final roster tonight, two days before the national men’s basketball team open their group stage campaign against the Dominican Republic, which is led by NBA players Karl-Anthony Towns and Lester Quinones./ASC, WDJ