MANILA, Philippines — Two men are out of the Philippine national men’s basketball pool with center Greg Slaughter and swingman Matt Ganuelas-Rosser due to recover from injuries sustained during the PBA season.
The 7-foot Slaughter of Barangay Ginebra is set for surgery on his ankle after a scan revealed “ligament issues,” according to head coach Tab Baldwin. Slaughter, however, still showed up but did not participate in the team’s first practice session in over a month on Wednesday, May 18 at the Meralco Gym.
(READ: Ray Parks joins Gilas Pilipinas practice for the first time)
“Greg had a scan and he has some ligament issues in his ankle. He is no longer part of the pool,” Baldwin told reporters after practice. “He’s a part of Gilas because all these guys are but he’s no longer an option for the OQT.”
Talk ‘N Text’s Rosser, who was part of Gilas Pilipinas for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, has just undergone surgery similarly for his ankle.
“Matt has had surgery for an ankle issue that arose I think in an offseason injury and he’s out for the pool,” Baldwin said.
Losing both Slaughter and Rosser means Gilas has a shortage of a versatile and athletic guard while the potentially enticing national team quadruple towers is now down to 3 – June Mar Fajardo, Andray Blatche, and Japeth Aguilar.
“For the players we also look after the longevity of their careers and their bodies,” said team manager Butch Antonio. “For any team, national or club team, half-baked is not good. Coach Tab already allowed them for things they have to take care of.”
Baldwin echoed the same sentiment when asked how big of a concern missing those two players will be as preparations for the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament slated for July 5 to 10 kick into high gear.
“Every player that is under my responsibility that has an injury is a concern. I’m concerned for them as people, for their careers, for their opportunities. I’m concerned that they can’t realize their ambitions to be part of Gilas this year,” Baldwin explained.
“But they move on, I move on and I told them that if they want to be here, help out in trainings any way they can, do rehab with us, they’re our players. They’re not excluded in any way other than by injury.”
Meanwhile both San Miguel Beer’s Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter are also still recovering from injuries. While Fajardo practiced Wednesday amid a still compromised knee, Lassiter was absent but is expected to come through for Thursday’s session.
“They are both under instruction that they can’t go live until next week,” Baldwin said. “Obviously Marcio’s situation is worse than June Mar but I expect him here tomorrow.” — Rappler.com
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