June 15, 2024

Game Ape Blog

Hot News of the Week in the Philippine

Home » FIBA » Doubts loom over Japeth Aguilar and Kai Sotto’s availability impacts Gilas Pilipinas’ frontcourt in FIBA World Cup

Doubts loom over Japeth Aguilar and Kai Sotto’s availability impacts Gilas Pilipinas’ frontcourt in FIBA World Cup

5 min read

Excitement is building as Gilas Pilipinas prepares to showcase a tall and nimble roster featuring players such as Justin Brownlee, June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, and Kai Sotto in the final window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The Philippines will be hosting Lebanon and Jordan later this month, and fans are eagerly anticipating the team’s performance.

WILL THEY SUIT UP FOR GILAS ONCE MORE? Gilas Pilipinas regulars Japeth Aguilar and Kai Sotto’s participation in the national team for the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers sixth and final window is still unclear. FIBA FILE PHOTOS

However, national coach Chot Reyes brought a dose of reality to the excitement on Saturday night.

He stated that Japeth Aguilar’s knee sprain is a major setback for the team, as it could force the two-time World Cup participant to miss the two homestands at Philippine Arena.

“That’s a huge blow for us,” Reyes said. “Aside from the size, it’s also the leadership. What Japeth brings is big—a huge leadership component for us, so that’s going to be big for us,” he added.

Veteran forward Aguilar has been undergoing rehabilitation for a knee sprain he sustained during a game against NLEX on February 8th.

Despite the efforts being made to recover, there is currently no set timeline for his return, according to his coach and Gilas Pilipinas deputy, Tim Cone of Ginebra.

The future of the Gilas Pilipinas roster for the upcoming Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers is shrouded in uncertainty, with doubts surrounding the availability of two key players.

Japeth Aguilar is still recovering from a knee sprain, and there are concerns about Kai Sotto’s participation as negotiations for his return to the national team are still underway.
This has left coach Chot Reyes and the program with a cloud of uncertainty as they look to finalize their roster combinations.

“I know that they’re talking, there are negotiations. We’ve made a very good offer. It’s up to them now what they are going to do with it.” said Reyes of the young big man, who recently parted ways with Aussie club Adelaide 36ers to play for Hiroshima Dragonflies in the Japanese B.League.

“Of course, I hope that they do (agree on a deal). But we’ll never know until (Sotto) is actually here,” he added.

WILL THEY SUIT UP FOR GILAS ONCE MORE? Gilas Pilipinas regulars Japeth Aguilar and Kai Sotto’s participation in the national team for the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers sixth and final window is still unclear. FIBA FILE PHOTOS

A previous media report stated that Sotto may opt out of playing for Gilas to pursue his NBA dream.

This opportunity would have marked the first time that Reyes and the Gilas program would not have to face any issues with a shortage of players and could have the chance to secure their desired roster, aside from the talented guard Jordan Clarkson, who is currently occupied with supporting the Utah Jazz in the ongoing NBA season.

Being familiar with challenges like these, Reyes, who is known for advocating agility and flexibility in his coaching style, is viewing the situation with a positive outlook.

Despite these setbacks, Reyes remains optimistic and believes that others will have to step up to fill the gap.

On the situation with Sotto, Reyes is cautiously optimistic and cites the player’s commitment to the national team as shown in his statements.

“But until he’s here, then we will never really know,” he added.

In the end, Reyes, known for being agile and flexible in his coaching, is looking forward to the showcase and believes that the team will find a way to overcome these challenges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *