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Gilas battles Aussies minus injured Castro

Basketball Court | Pixabay
Basketball Court | Pixabay

By JONAS TERRADO

Game Today
(Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne)
4:30 p.m. – Australia vs Philippines

Gilas Pilipinas will be missing one of the heroes from the past battles today when it seeks a giant-sized upset of host Australia in the resumption of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

Jayson Castro won’t be available for the 4:30 p.m. Manila time (7:30 p.m. local time) battle for the lead in Group B, leaving Gilas with another big obstacle to hurdle with the Aussies expected to capitalize on their height advantage.

Coach Chot Reyes said yesterday that Castro was left out of the 12-man roster after sustaining an ankle injury during TNT KaTropa’s PBA Philippine Cup game against Phoenix two weeks ago, his condition showed little improvement despite suiting up for his team days later against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

“We tried to go hard in (Tuesday’s) practice and still he was not there at all so we decided that it was not worth the risk,” Reyes told Sports5 through Facebook live, adding that Jio Jalalon was also left out because of a slight pain in his leg.

Composing the Gilas lineup will be naturalized player Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, Kiefer Ravena, Calvin Abueva, Matthew Wright, RR Pogoy, Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, Carl Bryan Cruz, Allein Maliksi, Kevin Alas and amateur Abu Tratter.

Reyes is banking on Ravena and Alas to fill the huge void left by Castro, expressing confidence that the NLEX backcourt duo would be able to hold their own against their Australian counterparts for the crucial tie.

What do you think?

Written by Tempo Online

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