Gilas expecting to be 10-player-strong moving forward

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 02, 2019 08:38 PM
Gilas expecting to be 10-player-strong moving forward
(FILE PHOTO)

Gilas Pilipinas is hoping to have at least two more players always available for practices - following a few weeks wherein several names were absent due to the ongoing playoffs in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

“After tonight, we should have 10 or 11 guys,” head coach Yeng Guiao bared Friday.

Those latest additions are Japeth Aguilar and Stanley Pringle of recently eliminated Ginebra who will now be joining the Philippine national team as it ramps up its preparations for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

In fact, the two were already in attendance - albeit in street clothes - in the training session coach Yeng had just concluded.

The two may already be at work for Gilas beginning in their practice on Saturday. “They’re battered from the (semifinals). Depends on how they feel - sabi ko kung okay sila sumali, okay, pero kung ‘di naman, okay rin,” coach Yeng said.

Also probable to join sooner than later are San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo and Christian Standhardinger as well as Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood - depending on what happens in the two teams’ semifinals series.

The Beermen lead the best-of-five showdown, 2-1, with Game 4 being played as of press time.

If San Miguel wraps it up in four games, Belga and Norwood will be available for the national team starting Saturday.

If Rain or Shine forces Game 5 scheduled for Sunday, Gilas members from whoever ultimately loses the series will just follow to Spain for a week-long training camp.

As Coach Yeng put it, “If there’s ever a Game 5, kung sino yung mababakante, hahabol na lang. Those are the arrangements.”

Already penciled in for that training camp are Mark Barroca, Robert Bolick, JP Erram, Paul Lee, Kiefer Ravena, Asi Taulava, Matthew Wright, and naturalized big man Andray Blatche.

Definitely out for the trip to Spain are RR Pogoy and Troy Rosario as TNT will still figure in a best-of-seven Finals.

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