A NEW-LOOK Gilas Pilipinas looms when the Nationals plunge into the action in the Asian Games in China three weeks after wrapping up their FIBA World Cup (WC) stint.

For one, Jordan Clarkson, the team’s Fil-Am NBA star in the global hoops showpiece, is leaving the mantle to Justin Brownlee while he heads back to the Utah Jazz fold for the NBA’s next season.

Mr. Brownlee was part of the extended WC pool and gave way when Mr. Clarkson flew in for the final stretch of training. The resident import of Barangay Ginebra was confirmed for participation in the Asiad set Sept. 23 to Oct. 8 in Hangzhou, China.

Then there may be a new mentor at the helm with coach Chot Reyes already declaring his plan to “step aside” after steering Gilas to a morale-restoring 96-75 romp over China to end the WC campaign last Saturday.

“I think it’s time for somebody else. I think you all know. You are all clamoring for some names, so maybe it’s time,” Mr. Reyes said about the coaching job for the Asiad.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) has yet to act on the Philippine quintet’s coaching situation.

With the next seasons of the Japan B. League and Korea Basketball League set for kickoff Oct. 5 and 21, respectively, Gilas stalwarts based there are doubtful to return for Gilas duties after the WC.

In fact, Dwight Ramos, who plays for B. League club Hokkaido, already ruled himself out of the Hangzhou Games.

“No, I’m not playing in the Asian Games,” said Mr. Ramos, who was the Nationals’ second-leading scorer after Mr. Clarkson with his 13.2 points per game that went with 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Like Mr. Ramos, Kiefer Ravena of Shiga, Kai Sotto of Hiroshima and AJ Edu of Toyama are set to return to Japan. Pool members Thirdy Ravena of San-En and Ray Parks of Nagoya are already with their respective Japanese clubs.

Sources said the Pinoys’ contracts only allow for their release to the national teams in FIBA tournaments. And with the Asian Games not a FIBA-organized meet, the SBP would need to negotiate with the concerned clubs to facilitate the Gilas mainstays’ release.

Energy guy Rhenz Abando, who plies his trade in the KBL, is himself unsure since he’s expected to rejoin his club Anyang by next week.

With the PBA scheduled to raise its curtains for Season 48 on Oct. 15 yet, stalwarts from Asia’s first play-for-pay league are tipped to take on the AG task.

For the World Cup, June Mar Fajardo, Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, Jamie Malonzo, RR Pogoy and CJ Perez wore the Gilas jersey while Chris Newsome and Calvin Oftana were in the training group.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said there’s no formal discussions with the SBP and Gilas yet as to the Asian Games but reiterated the league’s commitment to help the program any way it can. — Olmin Leyba