June Mar Fajardo, Kiefer Ravena banner Gilas’ SEA Games final roster
MANILA, Philippines–Six-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo and five-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Kiefer Ravena will banner the Gilas Pilipinas squad that will see action in the Hanoi edition of the biennial meet set next week.
Joining the pair of grizzled veterans are fellow PBA stars Mo Tautuaa, Isaac Go, Troy Rosario, Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy, Kib Montalbo, Kevin Alas and cadets Francis Lopez and Will Navarro, according to a list of delegates released to the press by the Philippine Olympic Committee early Thursday afternoon.
National coach Chot Reyes confirmed to the Inquirer the 12-man contingent, which also includes Thirdy Ravena who is plying his trade in Japan like his brother Kiefer.
The older Ravena is coming in as a replacement for NorthPort playmaker Robert Bolick, who is set to miss games that will run from May 16 through 22.
“(Robert) has to fly to the [United States] to be with his ailing father,” Reyes said in a short exchange with the Inquirer.
Reyes originally had a 16-man pool for the SEA Games The other players who didn’t make the cut were Poy Erram, Japeth Aguilar, and Dwight Ramos.
This edition of Gilas Pilipinas is tasked to keep the country’s dominance in the biennial meet. The Filipinos have won the last 13 stagings of the tournament, leading the field with 18 gold medals overall.
Meanwhile, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, the projected top pick in the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft, will lead the men’s 3×3 squad that also features Marvin Hayes, Reymar Caduyac and Jorey Napoles.