MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes is not about to risk the health of Roger Pogoy just for him to play in the upcoming window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers later this February.
Reyes said they are still evaluating whether Pogoy can suit up for the national team after the TNT star sustained a calf injury that sidelined him in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
“If he cannot [run with us in practice], we do not want to force him because for me, the Pogoy situation is not a FIBA window situation, it is a career health situation,” Reyes said in a mix of Filipino and English.
“We’re going to do what is best for him, not only for the window, but in the long run.”
Of course, having Pogoy is a big boost for the national team owing to his experience in the international stage.
Among the current 22-man pool, Pogoy is one of only four players who have seen action in the World Cup along with Jayson Castro, Robert Bolick, and Troy Rosario.
But Reyes said health stays the top priority for Pogoy.
“We do not want to jeopardize rushing him just to be able to play for the window. He has to be 100 percent before we make that decision on him,” Reyes said.
Reyes only has a few days to prepare the national team before they start their Asian Qualifiers campaign against visiting Korea on February 24 at the Araneta Coliseum.
Slated to play four games in five days, the Philippines will then face India on February 25, New Zealand on February 27, and Korea again on February 28. – Rappler.com