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4:59 pm on 14 February 2023, Tuesday
Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes is lamenting over the lack of big men, as the final window of the 2023 FIBA ??World Cup Asian qualifiers is just less than two weeks from now.
Former Adelaide 36ers center Kai Sotto is out of the national team due to his upcoming stint with Hiroshima Dragonflies in Japan B.League, while Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar is still recovering from his MCL injury.
"Japeth is injured and Kai has already said categorically that he's opting out of this window," said Reyes.
"We've lost our two best rim protectors, Japeth and Kai. That's something we didn't expect. But we'll see what we can come up with and how we can compensate."
TNT center Poy Erram also did not participate in the Gilas practice this Monday due to his injury, while B.League big man Carl Tamayo did not show up.
Only 18-year-old Ateneo prospect Mason Amos and San Miguel star June Mar Fajardo are available for the national team.
"Other than June Mar, the only big man who has always shown up is Mason Amos. So those are basically our bigs," he said.
Gilas will battle Lebanon on February 24 and Jordan on February 27 at the Philippine Arena.