Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Noli Eala said the Smart Gilas team captain announced his intention to head the squad, a development head coach Norman Black welcomed with open arms.
Reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player RR Garcia of Far Eastern U also leads the 40 varsity stars summoned to try out tonight for the SEA Games squad along with Ateneo’s Nico Salva, San Beda’s Garvo Lanete and San Sebastian’s Calvin Abueva.
“Basically, I’m looking for size, speed and perimeter shooting,” said Black.
Eala said Smart Gilas mainstays Greg Slaughter and Aldrech Ramos were also invited by Black in the tryouts at the FEU gym.
Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena and San Beda’s Baser Amer were the only high school aces listed, while others tapped were University of Cebu’s 6-10 star Junmar Fajardo, University of the East’s Paul Lee, Adamson’s Alex Nuyles, La Salle’s Simon Atkins and National U’s Ray Parks.
Only 12 players from the pool will make the national team seeking a repeat of its golden romp in the 2007 Games in Thailand. Basketball wasn’t played in the 2009 Laos Games.
“Chris (Tiu) wants to have a gold medal in the SEA Games before he retires from the national team,” said Eala.