TNT’S ROSARIO, POGOY, NLEX’S SOYUD EARN GILAS CALL-UP, SET TO ENTER TRAINING BUBBLE
FIBA World Cup veterans RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and PBA Philippine Cup’s Most Improved Player awardee Raul Soyud are set to dawn Gilas Pilipinas training pool inside the bubble in Calamba, Laguna this Friday.
Gilas team manager Gabby Cui confirmed that the trio will be coming on board for the national team for the third and final window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers next month but first they had to undergo swab tests.
“We had to do RT-PCR testing going to the bubble, so we’re doing that tomorrow (Tuesday). Then, on the 22nd, we enter Inspire where we do another round of RT-PCR (testing), based on the protocols,” said Cui in an appearance on “The Game” by One Sports.
Both Rosario and Pogoy are to provide pillars for the team as they are the mainstay of Gilas, on the other hand, this marks the first Gilas call-up for Soyud.
Several players are already inside the training bubble consisting of Calvin Oftana, Justine Baltazar, Javi Gomez de Liano, William Navarro, Kenmark Carino, and Dave Ildefonso since January 10.
They are added by Ange Kouame, the country’s candidate for naturalization, as well as PBA players Kiefer Ravena, CJ Perez, and Justin Chua and last year’s picks from the special Gilas draft Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, brothers Mike and Matt Nieto.
The team is still waiting for the second window standouts Dwight Ramos and Juan Gomez de Liaño to once again answer the call of the national team.
“We’re still hoping Dwight and Juan can join us. We’re still talking to them. There’s still time for them to come in, so we’re keeping our lines open,” shared Cui.
“It’s the same for some PBA players that might join us,” he continued.
Coming this Feb. 18-22 FIBA tournament, a mix of professionals and amateurs will be representing the country against Asian power South Korea and Lester Prosper-led Indonesia.
“It’s really up to the coaching staff (to determine the combo),” said Cui.
“That’s why it’s important to get the players in the bubble, see the mix, how they adapt to the plays, what’s missing – do we need more height, more experience, more physicality,” he added.