Gilas preparations go on even with three vital cogs still resting
Gilas Pilipinas’ preparations for the Fiba World Cup entered a crucial stretch on Monday night at Meralco Gym without three of its key players.
San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo and TNT’s Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy, who played a rugged PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals that ended just last Friday, missed practice, though it was reported that coach Yeng Guiao was expecting to have all of his players.
The Philippines plays Serbia, Italy and Angolo in Group D in Foshan, China, beginning Aug. 31.
Even without Fajardo, Rosario and Pogoy, the rest of the pool began simulating drills a little past 6 p.m.
Present were skipper Gabe Norwood, Mark Barroca, Kiefer Ravena, Paul Lee, CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, Poy Erram, Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, and naturalized center Andray Blatche.
Fajardo, Rosario and Pogoy could certainly ask for more rest, with the Commissioner’s Cup Finals dragging to six strength-sapping games and the trio playing extended minutes.
TNT team manager Gabby Cui, though, confirmed that Rosario and Pogoy will show up and practice starting Tuesday.
Before the World Cup, Gilas is set to play two friendlies with Australian side Adelaide 36ers, marking the first time basketball teams from the two countries meet since that infamous brawl that marred a Fiba Qualifying game at Philippine Arena in Bulacan July last year that led to suspensions of players from both sides.