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Joseller Guiao (PHI), PHI vs IRI
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Guiao names Pilipinas roster for crucial Asian Qualifiers tiff against Qatar

MANILA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers) - Head coach Yeng Guiao has named his final 12 for the Philippines' must-win Asian Qualifiers road game against Qatar.

One name that raised some eyebrows?

That's Thirdy Ravena, younger brother of star national team wingman Kiefer Ravena.


 Philippines 12-man roster against Qatar   
 Japeth Aguilar  Mark Barroca Andray Blatche Jayson Castro 
JP Erram   June Mar Fajardo  Marcio Lassiter Paul Lee 
 Gabe Norwood  Thirdy Ravena  Troy Rosario  Scottie Thompson

The 6ft 3in (1.90m) Ravena is fresh from leading his collegiate team, Ateneo de Manila, to back-to-back university league titles and will make his debut on the international stage. Thirdy has seen action on the FIBA 3x3 stage before but never on any national youth or senior team at the continental level.

Joining Ravena on the team is the returning Andray Blatche, who will take the naturalized player spot that was filled up by Christian Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle in previous windows.

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Gilas Pilipinas 🇵🇭 FINAL 12 vs Qatar 🇶🇦 #LabanPilipinas #FIBAWC

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Five-time PBA Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo is also in the fold alongside veteran national team members Jayson Castro and Gabe Norwood.

Making a comeback to the national team is playmaker Mark Barroca, who was a recent recipient of the Finals Most Valuable Player plum in the PBA's Governors' Cup and is expected to be a spitfire on both ends of the floor for coach Yeng.

Left out for now are big man Raymond Almazan, who is still nursing an ankle injury, and RR Pogoy, who is serving the last of his five-game suspension.

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وصول المنتخب الفلبيني الى الدوحة #fibawc

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The Filipinos are currently carrying a 5-win, 5-loss card and need to win both their final window games to drastically improve their chances to qualifying for the World Cup.

They face Qatar on 21 February at the Al Gharafa Sports Hall before closing out their Asian Qualifiers against Kazakhstan on 24 February in Astana.