Thoss out; Chot wants Abueva
Gilas-Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes just lost another member of his national pool with Sonny Thoss of Alaska scheduled to have his injured back treated in China.
And the man tasked to take the Philippines back to the World Basketball Championship in May is looking at another Alaska Ace—PBA rookie Calvin Abueva—to fill the void.
Abueva is also set to have surgery in his knee, although he could still opt to suit up for the Philippine team by postponing the procedure and having it done near the opening of the final PBA conference of the year.
Alaska coach Luigi Trillo said that it would all be up to Abueva if he wishes to join the national pool, which will leave on June 2 for a two-week training camp in Lithuania.
Thoss, who wound up as the PBA Press Corps-Papa John’s Pizza Finals MVP in the Commissioner’s Cup, is actually the third man that Reyes lost after Kelly Williams and Jared Dillinger of Talk ‘N Text. Williams is battling an old ailment while Dillinger is recuperating from a car accident.
Also posing a problem for the Gilas five is its uncertain stint in the Jones Cup in July in the wake of the recent conflict between Taiwan and the Philippines.
The Jones Cup, where the Philippines is the defending champion, is the best tuneup event for countries joining the Fiba-Asia Qualifying scheduled Aug. 1-11 in Manila.
In the Jones Cup, the Filipinos will be able to see the composition of most of the national teams seeing action in Manila and not playing there would deny Gilas-Pilipinas the chance to size itself up against the field.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is keeping its fingers crossed that the tension between the Philippines and Taiwan eases up in time for the Jones Cup, which has a July 6-16 playdate.
There has been no word from Taipei organizers so far regarding the Philippine participation. The Nationals draw the biggest crowd every year because of the huge number of OFWs who watch their games.
“Of course, not just for the sake of the Gilas-Pilipinas participation in the Jones Cup, but for the reconciliation and restoration of peace between the two countries. We’re hoping, we’re praying that it will be resolved soon,” said SBP executive director Sonny Barrios.
Tensions rose because of the reported accidental shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman by Philippine Navy personnel recently.
The last communication received by the SBP from Jones Cup organizers was May 17 reminding them of the May 31 deadline for the submission of lineups.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.