Home Top News PHL Gilas tries to overcome injuries in its Olympic quest

PHL Gilas tries to overcome injuries in its Olympic quest

0 comment

GILAS PILIPINAS is banking on the adaptability of the talented group assembled by coach Tim Cone as it tries to overcome injuries to key players in its Olympics quest.

Big man AJ Edu (knee), wingman Jamie Malonzo (calf) and playmaker Scottie Thompson (back) are out of commission, leaving June Mar Fajardo and Chris Newsome and the rest with added burden in July 2 to 7 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Latvia.

“My personal opinion on this is while the absence of AJ Edu, Jamie Malonzo and Scottie Thompson are unfortunate, we still have a solid lineup in terms of versatility and talent,” team manager Richard del Rosario said in a statement.

Gilas has tapped Japeth Aguilar and Mason Amos to fill in for Edu and Malonzo with Kai Sotto, Calvin Oftana, Kevin Quiambao and Carl Tamayo also expected to give their share. Then there’s the return of seven-time Most Valuable Player Fajardo, who was sidelined by a calf injury when Gilas swept its two home assignments against Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers last February.

“June Mar gives us a big boost,” said Mr. Del Rosario. “Remember that he did not play last window because of injury.”

Sans Mr. Thompson, Chris Newsome, Dwight Ramos and even CJ Perez may be required to do more playmaking chores. Naturalized player Justin Brownlee can switch positions, too, when needed.

The Nationals were scheduled to face the Taiwan Mustangs last night at the PhilSports Arena in their send off game before their trip to Europe  for the OQT gig.

They leave today to continue building up in Europe for the tough task in the OQT Group A play against world No. 6 host Latvia and No. 23 Georgia.

“The OQT will be tough because only one team will make it to the Olympics,” Mr. Del Rosario said. “But everyone on the team is determined to give their best to represent the country well.” — Olmin Leyba

Related Posts

Leave a Comment