I mean Chooks-To-Go… has announced its final lineup for the 2017 FIBA Asia Champions Cup.
It’s not really the lineup… lineup… because they have former pro Gab Banal and TV personality Andre Paras in case the papers of Isaiah Austin and Rod Ebondo fail.
SEAG gold medallists Carl Bryan Cruz, Kiefer Ravena and Raymar Jose join Gilas Pilipinas pro prospects Norbert Torres and LA Revilla, current pro Francis Tamsi, former pros Almond Vosotros and Jeric Teng, and amateur standouts Jett Manuel and Jeron Teng.
In terms of firepower, this Gilas reincarnation will not wow crowds. In fact, I can see this team wilt in the spotlights especially with the presence of Andray Blatche on the other side of the spectrum. With that said, I hope the team delivers against the Xinjiang Flying Tigers (or China Kashgar)… even if they are facing a tall order. Li Gen is the wide-bodied Chinese who took a nasty headbutt from Calvin Abueva because of his antics. Zhou Qi is now playing for the Houston Rockets so Darius Adams needs to dish out the goods.
And as mentioned… Andray F’N Blatche.
And that’s not all.
ONGC – India will have sweet-shooting spitfire Vishesh Bhriguvanshi. BC Astana – Kazakhstan will boast the presence of national team superstar Anton Ponomarev as well as Justin Anthony Carter. Powerhouse Al-Riyadi of Lebanon will have Wael Arakji, Jean Abd El Nour, Ali Mahmoud, Robert Christopher Daniels, and former Rain or Shine import Quincy Douby. Thailand’s Mono Vampire Club will have a familiar face in Kannut Samerjai as well as Fil-Am guard Jason Brickman (I’m guessing he’s not going to join the 2017 PBA Draft). Iran’s Petrochimi will have a couple of familiar names like Arsalan Kazemi, Oshin Sahakian, Benham Yakhchali, as well as former Los Angeles Clipper Willie Warren. Palestine’s Sareyyet Ramallah will have scoring sensation Salim Sakakini and Tony Weeden. Shabab Al Ahli of UAE will have Khalifa Salem and Taipei Dacin Tigers will have Chang Chia Jung.
The biggest thorns for Gilas Pilipinas are obviously are China, Iran, and Lebanon. Group A will have ONGC, Mono Vampire, Petrochimi, and Sareyyet Ramallah and it’s a somewhat easy ride for Gilas Pilipinas.
Hopefully Austin and Ebondo will secure their visas in time for the event.
By the way:
RIP to Cris Bolado and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. I know these two are from completely different sports and eras but I can’t help their contributions to my psyche. Heenan is basically Hulk Hogan’s biggest enemy. I agree to what Wrestling With Wregret’s Brian Zane said when he detailed the who’s who from his Heenan Family faction who feuded and were subsequently fed to Hulkamania.
As for Jumbo Bolado, I am more of a fan of the PBA than any teams in particular (although I am mentally a TNT fan and physically, a Ginebra follower). Back in the 90s though, I am an Alaska Milkman diehard. While I am more of a Johnny Abarrientos / Bong Hawkins / Poch Juinio fan (Poch is an underrated starter), Bolado is a good part of its bench as similar to the functions of Jun Reyes, Merwin Castelo, Rhoel Gomez, and Kevin Ramas. I once saw him hang out in GMA at the height of the first edition of Survivor: Philippines and I thought he was one backstab short from getting his alliance to the final stages.
Also, I don’t want to talk about politics but as a UST alum, they need to have heads roll in this hazing controversy. I get that fraternities… like extracurricular clubs, college political parties, and cliques in general are designed to get that one-up in college as well as life in general. I mean, I can’t imagine spending my college days sans the computer shops, billiard halls, libraries (had to put something educational), and fast food joints for both gastro-friendly and education-dependent activities. But regardless of accolade and history, if one group fucks up… then the school’s reputation follows. I remember when UST booted out a couple of sexy stars for the sake of school integrity. When Mark Welson Chua stood up for a cause, he changed a corrupt ROTC practice. If they can’t address this issue, then people could see Thomasians in a different light.