Castro, Romeo, Blatche part of PH men's basketball roster for Asian Games

The core of the Philippine men's basketball team for the Asian Games this year is composed mostly of players from the TNT KaTropa.

TNT star guards Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo, along with naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche, will spearhead the charge for the Philippines.

Other TNT players Roger Pogoy, Jericho Cruz, Don Trollano, Anthony Semerad, Troy Rosario and Kelly Williams, and Gilas Cadets Ricci Rivero, Kobe Paras and Abu Tratter are also part of the lineup submitted to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Chef de Mission.

National team coach Chot Reyes revealed the Asian Games roster to ESPN5 on Monday.

"We want the Asian Games lineup to be a combination of competing for a medal as well as building for the future, thus the inclusion of three Cadets," Reyes told ESPN5.

The initial plan of the PBA Board was to send a core of TNT players, Blatche, a few Cadets and one Alaska player. But Reyes said they opted not to include a player from the Aces on the final roster.

"We appreciate Alaska's gesture of allowing Carl Bryan Cruz, but in the end, we felt it was better to just go with the TNT core so as not to cause too much disruption in their third conference preparation," he explained.

The 2018 Asian Games will run from August 18 to September 2 in Indonesia.

The Philippines has so far won four gold medals (1951, 1954, 1958, 1962) in the basketball competition of the Asian Games.

In the 2014 edition in Incheon, South Korea, the country's men's basketball team only finished in seventh place with a 3-4 record. That team, which was also coached by Reyes, was led by Jimmy Alapag, LA Tenorio, Gabe Norwoord, Ranidel de Ocampo and Marcus Douthit, among others.

Douthit took the place of Andray Blatche who was declared ineligible by the Korean Organizing Committee even though he was declared eligible to play by FIBA.