Injured pool stalwarts rejoin Gilas practice, Ramos cleared and Sotto arriving soon | Inquirer Sports
GILAS PILIPINAS

Injured pool stalwarts rejoin Gilas practice, Ramos cleared and Sotto arriving soon

05:10 AM July 16, 2023

RR Pogoy was one of injured Gilas Pilipinas pool standouts who returned to practice on Thursday. —FIBA.BASKETBALL

RR Pogoy was one of injured Gilas Pilipinas pool standouts who returned to practice on Thursday. —FIBA.BASKETBALL

Things, for a change, are looking encouraging for Gilas Pilipinas as it ramps up its preparations for the Fiba (International Basketball Federation) World Cup.

Usually saddled by manpower problems, the Nationals reunited with Ray Parks Jr. Roger Pogoy, and Calvin Oftana last Thursday while Dwight Ramos has been cleared to continue training with the program which is about to enter a critical juncture in its coalescing.

Kai Sotto and Jordan Clarkson are also expected to join the team when it figures in a pocket tournament on Aug. 2 in China where the Philippines could very well pilot a final roster in a field that resembles its opponents in the group phase of the global showcase set here, in Japan and Indonesia beginning Aug. 25.

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Sotto is expected to rejoin the program by July 18, shortly after his stint with the Orlando Magic in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Clarkson’s timeline, however, remains vague but national coach Chot Reyes has assured that the Gilas management remains in fervent talks with the Utah Jazz star’s camp.

Gilas getting three of its versatile players back and its cornerstone out of harm’s way comes at a time when its quarters are teeming with enthusiasm and brimming with confidence.

“Guys are getting very confident, shooting the ball, just trusting together,” said Justin Brownlee, one of the two naturalized players being kept as a contingency plan should Clarkson—like many other NBA stars originally pegged to play in the meet—become unavailable for Gilas at the last minute.

“It’s just great to see the growth of the whole team,” he added in a chat with reporters at Meralco Gym recently.

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Gilas is also expected to learn the severity of Scottie Thompson’s fractured right hand this Sunday, which should help Reyes and the program’s decorated brain trust to continue plotting with clarity for the World Cup, which will dangle a qualification spot into the Summer Olympic Games in Paris next year.

For now, Reyes said that his priority is having Parks Jr., Oftana and Pogoy—all of whom have served Reyes and Gilas in varying capacities in the past—”understand everything they missed in Estonia [and Lithuania].”

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TAGS: Fiba World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas

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