Japeth Aguilar also out of Gilas Pilipinas squad for SEA Games 2023 – rezal404

Japeth Aguilar Gilas

FILE – Japeth Aguilar. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Already down several big names, Gilas Pilipinas will now also miss the services of Japeth Aguilar when it tries to reclaim the basketball gold in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

“We tested Japeth yesterday (Thursday) and he’s not ready to go yet. His target is to get ready for the [World Cup]. So he’s not going to be available for the (Southeast Asian Games),” assistant coach Tim Cone told reporters shortly after practice at Meralco Gym in Pasig City on Friday night.

“He really wants to play, but he has not recovered his explosiveness yet. And he still got some pain and they’re afraid he might be in and out of the lineup and it’s too hard if you got some guy going in and out the lineup when games are too fast and too quick,” the seasoned mentor said in on behalf of national coach Chot Reyes who politically begged off to catch a meeting.

Aguilar sustained an MCL sprain in Ginebra’s game against NLEX during the PBA Governors’ Cup. The high-leaping forward had to sit out a big chunk of the Gin Kings’ title-retention bid and Gilas’ stint in the sixth and final window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“He can’t have the recovery time if he plays five games in six days, so that’s no way a recovery time for someone who’s injured,” Cone said.

“So we’re still looking at trying to prune it down to 12. The only guy who’s surely gonna go is Justin (Brownlee),” he said with a chuckle.

Also joining the naturalized Filipino on Friday night’s intense session are Christian Standhardinger, Jeremiah Gray, Aaron Black, Chris Newsome, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, Arvin Tolentino, and varsity stars Jerom Lastimosa, Ben and Michael Phillips.

Gilas is scheduled to set up camp at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba this Sunday. The team leaves for the training facility in the morning.

The Philippines is grouped with Malaysia, Singapore, and host Cambodia in the group phase of the biennial meet where the Nationals are looking to reclaim their lofty perch.

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