THE first official practice of Gilas Pilipinas for the 2015 FIBA-Asia Men’s Championship started on the wrong foot.
Talk ‘N Text forward Kelly Williams he injured his right knee in a freak accident, just minutes after the national team’s practice began on Monday at the Meralco gym in Ortigas.
Practice was halted for a few minutes as Williams lay hurting after apparently slipping on the floor.
It was still unclear as of post time what happened to the veteran power forward, although Williams was visibly frustrated while his right knee was being wrapped.
Williams was assisted off the floor and later taken to a hospital for exmination, with Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin asking about his condition and wishing the Talk ‘N Text stalwart well on his way out.
“I’ll pray for you. I hope you recover soon,” Baldwin was heard saying before Williams was taken to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
Ranidel De Ocampo spoke to Williams before being brought to the hospital.
“Hindi niya maigalaw. Hindi niya ma-relax,” De Ocampo said. “Tingin ko sprain kasi na-ganun na ako dati.”
The incident came as Gilas Pilipinas started its buildup for the Fiba-Asia meet slated in Changsha, China next month.
Naturalized player Andray Blatche joined the team for the first time after the NBA veteran arrived in the country on Sunday night. Also joining the practice for the first time was Alaska's Calvin Abueva.
Blatche last suited up for Gilas during last year’s FIBA World Cup.