Chot to bare Gilas ‘Dirty Dozen’
MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas runs one final practice session today before coach Chot Reyes announces the 12 men he leans on as they start their quest for another FIBA World Cup stint versus Japan at the Komazawa Gymnasium in Tokyo tomorrow.
The decision will be easier if Reyes opts to rest pool members with health issues.
Raymond Almazan is nursing an ankle sprain sustained in practice Sunday while Jayson Castro, Calvin Abueva and Kevin Alas have been in and out of training with their respective health problems.
In-top shape are Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Troy Rosario, Gabe Norwood, Allein Maliksi, Carl Bryan Cruz, RR Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Mac Belo and Kiefer Ravena.
But Reyes needs to form a balanced team to be able to get past the Japanese and set the tone of their campaign for a return trip to the World Cup after their decent stint in the recent edition of the quadrennial meet in Spain in 2014.
With Terrence Romeo and Jio Jalalon left in Manila due to their own injuries, Reyes surely can’t afford to leave Castro out of the roster though not 100 percent healthy.
A versatile forward who provides tremendous energy, Abueva may also land a spot despite some ailment.
Others who may well be a cinch to make the team are Blatche, Fajardo, Aguilar, Rosario, Norwood, Wright, Maliksi and Ravena.
“Raymond Almazan has a severe sprain, Kevin Alas is under the weather. We were using Jayson (Castro) very sparingly because he’s not yet 100 percent. That are the issues that we have to contend with now,” said Reyes on a Sports5 interview shortly before leaving Manila.
“Hopefully we get to 100 percent, but right now we’re not 100 percent,” he added.