By Waylon Galvez
Gilas Pilipinas players Troy Rosario and Raymond Almazan are still part of the national team training pool – for now.
Gilas coach Yeng Guiao said that the two have already expressed their desire to compete for flag and country in the sixth and last qualifying window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.
However, injuries prevent them from taking part in the practice session that started last Monday, and if this continues until next week, that’s the time Guiao said he will make a decision.
“For now we’re not adding players,” said Guiao in Filipino. “We want to know the severity their injuries. We’ll ask our (medical) team to talk to the medical team of their respective teams to know exactly their status.”
Both players have not seen action in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup as Rosario is still recovering from a fractured nose, while Almazan has been sidelined due to a left sprained ankle.
The two are part of the initial 14-man national team pool announce by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) last week that will see action in this month’s six and last qualifying window.
The national team plays host Qatar of Feb. 21 before taking on Kazakhstan on its home turf on February 24.
Also part of the pool are naturalized player Andray Blatche, who is expected to arrive February 1, Mark Barroca, Paul Lee, Scottie Thompson, Marcio Lassiter, Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, Poy Erram, Roger Pogoy and June Mar Fajardo.
Christian Standhardinger – a Filipino-German – has been named as backup naturalized player, while Ateneo’s Thurdy Ravena has recently been added as the 15th member of the pool.