(Quezon Convention Center,
4:15 p.m. – Skills Competition
7 p.m. – Gilas vs Luzon
It will be the turn of the Luzon All-Stars in giving Gilas Pilipinas a much-needed warmup ahead of the SEABA Championship as the PBA All-Star Week heads to the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City for the second leg of the three-game series.
The game is set at 7 p.m. with Gilas parading a different lineup compared to the one that was held to a 114-all tie by the Mindanao selection two days ago at the Xavier University gym in Cagayan de Oro City.
Gilas coach Chot Reyes will formally announce the 12-man roster for the SEABA tourney set May 12 to 18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum immediately after the game.
Matthew Wright, who shared the co-Most Valuable Player award with Mindanao’s Troy Rosario in the City of Golden Friendship, leads the Gilas team alongside Kevin Ferrer, Mike Tolomia, Carl Bryan Cruz, Norbert Torres and Bradwyn Guinto.
Joining them are Raymond Almazan, Allein Maliksi, Arnold Van Opstal, Ed Daquioag and Almond Vosotros in the event backed by HMR Trading, Mueller, Peak, Crystal Clear, Anako, Davco, Smart, Cloudfone and Petron.
A more-fancied Luzon team is expected to make it tough for the national squad. Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar and Jayson Castro, favored to make the grade for the SEABA tilt, banner the team together with Alex Cabagnot, LA Tenorio, Marcio Lassiter, Stanley Pringle, Jay Washington, Paul Lee, Mark Caguioa, Arwind Santos and Ranidel de Ocampo.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria is coaching the Luzon cagers in his home province, and is hopeful of giving Gilas a fitting preparation.
Gilas blew a 12-point third quarter lead in Cagayan de Oro, allowing the Mindanao team to salvage a tie after a three-pointer by Mark Barroca with under a minute left in the fourth quarter.
Reyes was pleased to finally see his team play a game after months of once-a-week practices, but said that there’s still more room for improvement.
“We wanted the players to get in a game situation and that’s what we got,” Reyes said after the Cagayan de Oro game.
“Of course, we would have wanted to come out with a win, but compare to what we wanted to achieve, I think we were able to achieve.
“For a team that played for the first time, we had 26 assists, but at the same time, we had 21 turnovers. Again, it shows the unfamiliarity with each other,” added Reyes.
Wright boosted his chances of making the final 12 after scoring 22 points to share the award with Rosario, who played like he was auditioning for a roster spot with a game-high 28 points.