Jose replaces Van Opstal in Gilas pool
Raymar Jose has officially replaced Arnold Van Opstal in the Gilas Pilipinas pool.
National team coach Chot Reyes picked the Cignal HD bruiser to beef up the team’s frontline after dropping Van Opstal and Bradwyn Guinto from the Gilas Pilipinas program.
“Raymar has always been in our radar. When we dropped AVO, we needed another big guy so we’ve invited Raymar and he has willingly accepted,” said Reyes.
Jose appeared in the resumption of the Gilas Pilipinas practices on Tuesday evening at Meralco Gym, joining Bobby Ray Parks, Kevin Alas, and Baser Amer as the new faces in the national team pool.
Reyes also bared that Gilas axed Van Opstal after he struggled to participate in the team practices in the buildup for the 2017 Seaba Championship as the former La Salle big man nursed an Achilles injury.
“I think we’re going to drop him because in the run up to the Seaba Championship, for some reason, he wasn’t coming to practice,” he said.
Sources close to the situation shared that Van Opstal has earlier been taken out from the program even before the 2017 PBA All-Star Week, which explains his absence from the team’s daily practices.
With the decision, Reyes saidthat June Mar Fajardo will be the lone San Miguel representative to the Gilas Pilipinas pool, in accordance to the PBA’s agreement with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) requiring the mother ballclubs to loan one veteran and one cadet to the pool.