Gilas training under wraps
Gilas Pilipinas has started practicing full time and in full force, but coach Chot Reyes is seeking understanding from everyone as he again made it a closed-door session as the Filipinos gear up for a tough battle with Australia on Feb. 22 in the Fiba World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.
The injured Troy Rosario was the only one missing in practice at West Greenhills g.ym and would likely be out for the duel with the Aussies at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne and against Japan at Mall of Asia Arena three days later.
Rosario took a horrific fall in TNT KaTropa’s game against Phoenix Petroleum last week and sat out the Texters’ next game against Barangay Ginebra on Sunday.
He hit the floor face first and had to be wheeled out of the game strapped in a gurney.
Calvin Abueva, who along with Raymond Almazan were dropped for the coming matches by Reyes after failing to attend several practice sessions, was at the workout on Monday which fueled speculations that he could be recalled with Rosario likely to be out.
Reyes, although appreciative of Abueva’s effort, said the he was there as “part of the pool.” But Abueva is not counting on it.
“I’m here to give everything that I have [in practice],” Abueva said. “We all don’t know what can happen.”
Gilas won its first two matches in this grueling qualifying home-and-away series being used by the Fiba for the first time, routing the Japanese in Tokyo and then carving out a tight win over Chinese Taipei at Smart Araneta Coliseum last November.
Naturalized center Andray Blatche planed in on Friday and was glad to rejoin practice, appearing to be in far better shape compared to the previous times when he came over after long vacations.
June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, RR Pogoy, Jio Jalalon, Carl Bryan Cruz, Matthew Wright, Kevin Alas and Kiefer Ravena are the other members of the Gilas team bracketed in Group B with Australia, Japan and Taiwan. They will be fighting for one of seven available slots for Asia.
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