LONGTIME Gilas Pilipinas spearhead Jimmy Alapag said there simply wasn't enough time for him to recover from a quad injury and join the national team bound for the Fiba Asia Championship in Changsha, China.
Speaking just moments after the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) announced the Final 12 for Asia's qualifier for the Rio Olympics next year, Alapag said it's tough to be hampered by an injury, "even more so when it's for another opportunity to represent our country."
However, the former PBA MVP, who came out of retirement to join the Gilas 3.0 pool at 38, rued a quad injury he sustained just before the team's departure for an Estonia pocket tournament and acted up again after a brief appearance against Korea in the Jones Cup last week would not allow him to do so.
"There just wasn't enough recovery time for me before the Fiba Asia," Alapag, who joined Gary David, Aldrech Ramos and Troy Rosario as the final cuts in the team, told Spin.ph on Tuesday night.
Alapag bared he started therapy on his left quad the day the Gilas pool arrived from Chinese Taipei, but only expects to be back running full speed in two to three weeks.
Still, Alapag said he has no doubts the Final 12 selected by Baldwin will give the Philippines a 'great chance' to bag the only Olympic spot allotted Asia in Rio de Janeiro.
"Although it's disappointing not to be out there with my brothers, I'm confident they'll represent our country to the best of their ability," he said, "and give us a chance to return to the Olympics in Rio."