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PBA: Abueva still welcome at Gilas says Chot

By Jonas Terrado

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes is not shutting his doors on Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan for the third window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers which will see the national squad play Taiwan and Australia later this month.

Abueva has been AWOL for the Alaska Aces since the end of the PBA All-Star Week while Almazan was not included in the Gilas roster during the second window last February for failing to attend practices.

Reyes said the two men remain welcome to join the weekly sessions leading up to the qualifying matches if they wish to.

“Wala naman kaming tinatanggal sa pool e. They’re just people who have not able to come and all of that so obviously they won’t be in consideration for the next window,” Reyes said after Gilas held its first practice for the qualifiers last Monday at the Meralco gym.

“But wala naman talaga tayong tinatanggal officially, that is why it’s good to have a good pool system,” he added.

Nine players joined the first practice for the final stretch of the first round of qualifiers, namely June Mar Fajardo, Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Mac Belo, Allein Maliksi, Jio Jalalon and Baser Amer.

Amer, who represented the country in last year’s Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games, could be considered for the third window with Kiefer Ravena serving a 15-month FIBA suspension for banned substances and Kevin Alas still recovering from an ACL injury.

Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy were excused after practicing for the FIBA 3×3 team earlier in the day while Terrence Romeo watched from the sidelines to rest his sore ankle.