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Bobby Ray Parks
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Parks, Ravena headline Gilas' 24-man pool for FIBA Asia Challenge

MANILA (2016 FIBA Asia Challenge) - Bobby Ray Parks and Kiefer Ravena are two of the 24 players to make the new-looking Gilas’ roster for the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge.

The 24-man pool submitted by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is composed of mainly amateur standouts, but Pros like Matthew Allen Ganuelas, JP Erram, Almond Vosotros and Matthew Wright have also made the list. 

Philippines preliminary squad for FIBA Asia Challenge
Alfonzo Gotladera Mac Belo Kiefer Ravena Mon Alvin Abundo
Yutien Andrada Kemark Cariño Carl Cruz Ed Daquioag
John Paul Erram Russel Escoto Kevin Ferrer Matt Ganuelas
Jonathan Grey Jio Jalalon Chris Javier CJ Perez
Von Pessimal RR Pogoy Arvin Tolentino Mike Tolomia 
Arnold van Opstal  Almond Vosotros Matthew Wright Bobby Ray Parks

Parks debuted for Gilas in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament in Manila. Ravena meanwhile, currently in the US for training, was only part of the initial setup in that pre-Olympic tournament. 

Also in the list are Mac Belo, Russel Escoto, Mike Tolomia, Kevin Ferrer, Jio Jalalon, Von Pessumal and Roger Pogoy, who all won a gold medal in the SEABA Championship last May.

Josh Reyes, long-time assistant of Tab Baldwin, will call the shots during the tournament.   

“There’s a lot of excitement and some anxiety because it’s a new team,” SBP deputy director for international affairs Butch Antonio told FOX Sports.

Antonio also explained that the current direction is to prepare for FIBA's new home-any-away format that will start in November 2017.

“The ultimate goal is to make the (FIBA) World Cup in 2019, and hopefully, the time they have together will make them  better,” he added.

Philippines beat China in the bronze medal game to finish third in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup.

The top five teams in the tournament will earn for their respective sub-zones an extra berth in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup (formerly the FIBA Asia Championship).