By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Etheridge, who is currently on loan at Rovers from Barclays Premier League side Fulham, has established himself as the first-choice custodian since moving to the Memorial Stadium in September.
Given clubs are not obliged to release players that are called up for the Suzuki Cup, Southeast Asia's most-prestigious international competition, there was plenty of doubt whether a number of their foreign-based players would be released, including Etheridge, Stephan Schrock and Paul Mulders.
However, it now appears the 22-year-old goalkeeper will not be making the trip to Thailand, where the Azkals will be playing their Group A fixtures, according to Rovers manager Mark McGhee.
"Neil has decided he won't be going to the tournament," he told the Bristol Post.
"We'd still have Sam Walker here if Neil had chosen to go and he showed us what a good and reliable goalkeeper he is when he came back in against Sheffield United a couple of weeks ago after a long absence.
"Neil is a man in form at the moment, though, so we're pleased we'll have him around. He did make a catastrophic error that led to a goal on Saturday, but that was one of those things that will probably only happen once in his career.
"He went on to make some great saves after that and has done really well for us since arriving from Fulham."
Philippines coach Michael Weiss will now be hoping another overseas-based keeper, Roland Muller of 2.Bundesliga side Duisburg, will be released for Suzuki Cup duty.
Otherwise, the Azkals will have to turn to the United Football League to fill the void in goal, with Philippine Army veteran Eduard Sacapano, Global's 21-year-old Paolo Pascual and Ref Cuaresma of Loyola Meralco Sparks the most likely to get the nod.