Gilas Pilipinas asks PBA for help after 21-man pool plagued by injuries

The PBA is still open to lending more talents if Gilas needs more (PBA Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team just notified the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) if they will be willing to lend additional players for its preparation for the upcoming FIBA World Cup.

This recent development came after most of Gilas’ 21-man pool members that are set to compete against the best of the best hoopers of the world are ruled out due to their respective injuries.

Several players named to the pool failed to make the trip to Europe for several friendly games including a mini-training camp set up by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

Among those listed as injured in the pool are RR Pogoy, Ray Parks Jr., Jordan Heading, Carl Tamayo, and Calvin Oftana.

Last June 23, 2023, PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said that Gilas’ head coach Chot Reyes contacted him, asking for more professional talents that can make the initial pool for the FIBA World Cup build-up.

“Open tayo kung may kukunin siya kasi baka may magka-injury nga e. Kahit player, coaches, utility, kung ano kailangan niya, open tayo,” said Marcial.

The national team recently concluded a four-day intensive training camp held at the Inspire Sports Academy last week.

Gilas players who showed up were veteran mainstays June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, and Kiefer Ravena.

Also making their presence in the four-day camp are Jamie Malonzo, Thirdy Ravena, CJ Perez, Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome, and JP Erram.

Meanwhile, Jordan Clarkson and Kai Sotto, missed the trip to Europe due to their NBA commitments in the US.

In the case of Clarkson, the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year is still looking to finalize his contract with the Utah Jazz or test the waters of the free agency pool.

Sotto on the other hand just received an invitation from the Orlando Magic to play in the NBA Summer League set to kick off on July 7, 2023.