Guiao gives missing Gilas stars benefit of the doubt

MANILA, Philippines – Yeng Guiao gave June Mar Fajardo, Roger Pogoy, and Troy Rosario the benefit of the doubt after missing Gilas Pilipinas' latest practice, but cautioned the team has to decide on their status should the 3 remain absent. 

The fiery head coach said the trio needs to show up soon with the Philippine crew ramping up its preparations for the FIBA World Cup, which will kick off in multiple cities in China on August 31. 

Fajardo, Pogoy, and Rosario – who have been away from Gilas for two weeks due to the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals – were expected to be back in training on Monday, August 19, as San Miguel toppled TNT in 6 games

However, they were noticeably missing, leaving the team with just 12 players to conduct their usual drills and scrimmages. 

"Actually, I thought they were coming today but they're still not here. I guess they're still tired," Guiao told reporters in Filipino at the Meralco Gym in Pasig. "But they'll probably be here tomorrow." 

"We're trying to get in touch with them and try to confirm, but so far, there's still no confirmation." 

Their absence prevented the team from gaining full strength for the first time in a long while after the triumvirate missed Gilas' training camp in Spain, which saw the team face Ivory Coast and Congo in a pocket tournament. 

"I regret that they're not here but we can't force them. We know they played in the finals so maybe they know how they feel, they know what their bodies require. We're giving them the benefit of the doubt," Guiao said. 

"We'll wait for them for 1 or 2 more days. But if they don't show up, we need to decide on their status in the team." 

The national team will increase its training hours to 3 and will have a dedicated time for film viewing before it locks horns with the Adelaide 36ers on August 23 and 25 for back-to-back tuneup matches. –

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.