Abueva in, Castro out in 12-man Philippine lineup vs Australia
MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas is facing a tough job when it takes on the Australia Boomers in the second window of the FIBA Asian Qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup tomorrow, February 22, with Jayson Castro not included in the 12-man lineup.
National team head coach Chot Reyes explained on Sports5' Facebook live video that Castro, once named the Best Point Guard in Asia, is out against the Boomers after twisting his ankle during TNT KaTropa's games against the Phoenix Fuel Masters last February 7 and Barangay Ginebra last February 11.
"As of yesterday, he (Castro) tried to go hard in last night's practice and still, he was not there at all so we decided it wasn't worth the risk. So Jayson is going to sit out together with Jio (Jalalon), who is also feeling slight pain in his legs. We decided to play the guys not experiencing any nagging injuries at this point," said Reyes.
Back in the Gilas lineup is Calvin Abueva, who was initially dropped from the second window after missing the team's first 3 practices. After those string of absences, the Alaska Aces star expressed his desire to be reinstated to the lineup by never missing Gilas' subsequent training sessions.
Reyes said that injuries to forwards Troy Rosario, who slammed his chin on the hardcourt last February 7, and Mac Belo, who is recovering from an ITB injury, paved way for Abueva's return.
"Since then, even he (Abueva) knew he was not going to be in the final 12 for the second window, he never missed any practice, he did what we asked of him, whether as a practice player or member of the scouting team," Reyes said.
Reyes also revealed that Abueva knew last February 7 that he will be back in the lineup but decided to keep it on the low because "we wanted to keep our cards close to our chest."
Completing the lineup is Abu Tratter, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Matthew Wright, Roger Pogoy, Japeth Aguilar, June Mar Fajardo, Andray Blatche, Allein Maliksi, Gabe Norwood and Carl Bryan Cruz. – Rappler.com