TAIPEI - Fit-again Gilas Pilipinas cadet Mac Belo is still very much in the reckoning for spots in the Philippine team bound for the Fiba Asia Cup in Lebanon next month.
Problem is, Chot Reyes is still waiting for him to stake a claim to that spot.
Through seven games in Gilas' campaign in the 39th Jones Cup here, the consensus top pick in the last PBA special draft for cadets has either been relegated to the reserve list or has made no impact in limited minutes on the floor.
"He's a big part of our plans especially for (the) Fiba Asia (Cup), but we really have to look at his progress because mukhang hindi pa game-ready," said Reyes when asked about the former Far Eastern University star.
The 6-4 PBA rookie undewent arthroscopic surgery on his knee that forced him to miss Blackwater's campaign in the Commissioner's Cup, but insisted he's "95 percent" back to full fitness when asked about his recovery.
Problem is, Belo's current battle may be more psychological than anything else.
"I think it's more in here," Reyes said, pointing to his head.
Belo is part of the pool of around 15 players where Reyes will pick his Final 12 for the Fiba Asia Cup and may make the lineup if the PBA board imposes a one-player-per-team policy on the selection.
But he has yet to show up in the Jones Cup and a 0-point, 1-turnover performance in a five-minute exposure in Gilas' 91-80 loss to Lithuania on Friday certainly didn't help his case.
"Kaya hindi pwedeng biglain, we have to minimize our expectations," Reyes said.