FIBA: Guiao laments key players' absence as World Cup draws near

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2019 11:40 PM

Coach Yeng Guiao observes during Gilas practice. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA—Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao could not help but rue the absence of June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, and Roger Pogoy from Monday's practice, after he expected all 3 players to report at the Meralco Gym.

San Miguel's Fajardo and the TNT duo of Rosario and Pogoy had wrapped up their PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals series last Friday, with the Beermen winning the grueling best-of-7 series in 6 games. All 3 players were expected to show up on Monday night, but did not.

Guiao said he was giving the 3 players the benefit of the doubt.

"Actually, I thought they were coming today pero wala pa rin, so baka pagod pa. So, siguro bukas andito na 'yung mga 'yun," he said.

"We're trying to get in touch with them and trying to confirm, but so far wala pang confirmation," he added.

Guiao acknowledged that the 3 players were likely exhausted from the Finals series, which had featured highly physical play from both teams. However, he could not help but be disappointed as well.

"Sayang 'yung araw. Nanghihinayang din ako, kaya lang hindi rin natin sila mapuwersa or mapilit," he said.

"Alam natin na galing sila sa Finals. So maybe they know how they feel, they know what their bodies require, so we're giving them the benefit of the doubt," he added.

Guiao said they will give Fajardo, Pogoy and Rosario "1 or 2 more days" to recover.

"Pero 'pag 'di sila dumating, kailangan mag-desisyon na rin tayo," he added.

All 3 players—along with Marcio Lassiter, who suffered a knee injury in the quarterfinals of the Commissioner's Cup—already missed Gilas Pilipinas' training camp in Spain earlier this month.

Guiao has credited that camp with improving the team's chemistry and cohesion, while also giving them much-needed game experience.

"The Spain camp was good for us. Ang laking tulong noong Spain," said Guiao. "Even if that camp was tiring, nakakapagod kasi twice a day, in some ways, it felt like... it's also refreshing because iba 'yung environment mo, iba 'yung kalaban mo."

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