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PBA opening day roster misses some big names

FORMER Most Valuable Player winners James Yap and Mark Caguioa, Japan B.League star Kiefer Ravena, Filipino-foreign players Abu Tratter, Rob Herndon and Maverick Ahanmisi, two-way forward Javee Mocon and celebrity cager Andre Paras were among the big names left out when the PBA released the official team rosters for the Philippine Cup, the season-opening conference which comes off the wraps on Sunday, June 5, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Yap, a two-time PBA MVP, is still in Italy where he spends time with his family.

Andre Paras

Andre Paras

Kiefer Ravena

Kiefer Ravena

Javee Mocon

Javee Mocon

James Yap

James Yap

Caloy Garcia, Rain or Shine's head of basketball operation, said Yap will arrive in the country later this month but may not see action in the Philippine Cup.

“He'll arrive on June 27, but we want him to work out with us first,” Garcia said in a telephone interview. “I don't think he'll be able to make it to the lineup at this conference, so the best we can accommodate him is in the second conference.”

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Yap last saw action in the Philippine Cup last year.

“Also, we want coach Chris Gavina to look at him first, how well he can fit in with the rest of the team because we have several newcomers in the squad as well and we want to see how prepared he is before inserting him into the lineup,” Garcia said.

But it's not only Yap, who was left out in the Elasto Painters roster as Mocon, a fourth year swingman, did not come to terms with his mother squad.

Rain or Shine is still looking for takers on Mocon, but most of the teams already have their rosters completed. The Elasto Painters are reportedly shopping around for teams for Mocon and Rain or Shine is looking at a future second round pick in exchange for the former San Beda stalwart.

Caguioa, on the other hand, is likely to miss playing again.

Considered as one of Ginebra's resident stars, Caguioa had to attend to personal matters and the Gin Kings management opted not to enlist the 2012 MVP in the official roster.

Tratter, Herndon and Ahanmisi, who previously played for the Alaska Aces, had yet to come to terms with the franchise's new owners, the Converge FiberXers, who will be parading a young squad in its first season in the PBA.

Converge will have its baptism of fire on Sunday when it takes on Rain or Shine at 4:30 p.m. before the main game between Magnolia Timplados Hotshots and defending champion TNT Tropang Giga at 6:30 p.m.

Paras, who previously saw action for the Blackwater Bossing, took a leave of absence to concentrate on his showbiz career.

The 6-foot-4 Paras was a third round pick (27th overall) by the Bossing in last year's Rookie Draft.

And then there's Ravena, the returning guard of NLEX, who is still waiting for approval from the PBA board before being allowed to rejoin his mother squad.

The 5-foot-11 guard created much controversy last year when after signing a three-year deal with the Road Warriors, the second generation cager opted to pursue his aspirations of playing in the Japan B.League with the Shiga Lakestars.

His previous deal with the Road Warriors had been rescinded and after an agreement reached with the PBA and NLEX, the player will renegotiate with his mother squad for a new deal as soon as he wraps up playing in the B.League.

Ravena wants to play for NLEX for one conference before returning to Japan where he was offered a contract extension.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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