Gilas Pilipinas’ road to Rio hit a snag anew as Barangay Ginebra slotman Greg Slaughter and Tropang TNT wingman Matt Ganuelas-Rosser have been struck out of the national pool due to injuries they sustained recently.
National coach Tab Baldwin confirmed the latest development, shortly after concluding Gilas’ practice on Wednesday at the Meralco gym.
“Matt had surgery which will keep him out of the pool. And also Greg has a scan and he has some ligament issues in his ankle so he’ll be asked for arthroscopic surgery soon and that will keep him out of the pool also,” Baldwin told reporters.
The 6-foot-11 Slaughter showed up in civilian clothes on Wednesday and left later after talking with Baldwin and discussing his injury, which he sustained while doing a workout.
On the other hand, the Fil-American Ganuelas-Rosser had a successful arthroscopic surgery on his right big toe, while in addition, have bone spurs removed from his left ankle.
Tropang TNT came out with an official medical statement shortly after practice, saying Ganuelas-Rosser’s “conservative estimate recuperation period is 3 months, so obviously, he cannot join Gilas anymore.”
Meantime, San Miguel sniper Marcio Lassiter was also absent at the resumption of the national pool’s practice, while naturalized player Andray Blatche won’t be joining the team until May 27 to attend to his ailing mother.
The sweet-shooting Lassiter, though is expected to report for practice on Thursday.
Alaska’s Calvin Abueva, along with Rain or Shine’s trio of Paul Lee, Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood have been excused due to the ongoing Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, with Game 6 scheduled later in the day.
Baldwin said Gilas schedule remains fluid for the moment, given the incomplete pool roster.
Nonetheless, the American-Kiwi coach said Gilas is expected to trim down the 21-man pool to just 14 after June 7 when the national side clashes with Asian men’s basketball powerhouse Iran in a closed-door scrimmage in Manila.
Gilas again faces off with Iran on June 8, possibly at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, before leaving for Greece 2 days later as part of the national squad’s European training. – By Richard Dy
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