MANILA, Philippines – Larry Fonacier will no longer be part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool.
A tweet by the Philippine National men's basketball team head coach Chot Reyes sent Thursday morning, July 24 detailed why the Talk 'N Texts' veteran shooting guard begged off from national team duties.
"Unknown to many, Larry has been playing through a variety of foot and back injuries that have bothered him the past 2 years; and it is only his great dedication that has prevented him from taking anytime off."
The "Baby-faced Assasin", playing for the Tropang Texters who routinely make deep playoff runs conference after conference in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), has hardly had time to rest because of tournaments played with Gilas in between PBA seasons.
"The rigors of playing almost non-stop in the PBA and national team for the past 3 years has taken its toll, leaving Larry with no recourse but to accede to his doctors orders for complete rest and rehabilitation." Reyes added.
Fonacier also has a knee-injury history. He suffered an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury in 2004 that ended his UAAP career.
Fonacier, a career 36% shooter from beyond the arc according to pba-online.net, has shot an average of 1.21 three-point field goals in his 9-year tenure as a PBA player.
His unexpected exit leaves a spot in the Gilas roster for a player who can also potentially space the floor the way the shooting guard did for the national team. A leading candidate could be Rain or Shine's Paul Lee who lead the national team in their 3rd place finish in the recently concluded FIBA Asia Cup.
Aside from his ability to shoot from long-range, Reyes said they "will definitely miss Larry's quiet leadership and unyielding heart." – Rappler.com