FACING health issues and some last-minute addition in its line-up, Gilas Pilipinas, according to coach Chot Reyes, has a lot of catching up to do as the nationals try to cramp up everything in a week before leaving for Incheon, Korea for the 2014 Asian Games.
Injuries to guards Paul Lee and Jayson Castro have hampered the team’s preparation for the Asiad, while the late addition of Jimmy Alapag and naturalized center Marcus Douthit is likewise a concern especially on Douthit’s part since Reyes admitted not knowing how in shape the 6-foot-11 American is.
“Our issue with Marcus Douthit is we don’t know how much of a game shape he’s gonna be in,” explained Reyes.
While the 34-year-old Douthit joined Gilas’ month-long preparation for the Fiba World Cup, Reyes said practice games are completely different from the Asiad.
“He’s been practicing with us but he hasn’t been playing. So that’s very different,” he said.
“All we need to do is we just need to do our best to get him (Douthit) sharp as much as possible. But realistically, we can’t rely too much on him.”
Lee, bothered by a hurting plantar fasciia, skipped the first training of Gilas Saturday, although Reyes expects the Rain or Shine guard to show on Sunday.
“He (Lee) was asked to rest until today. Eh supposed to be, magpa-practice siya tomorrow (Sunday) pero di natin alam eh,” Reyes said of Lee, who suffered the injury during Gilas’ campaign in the world championship.
The outspoken national coach however, allayed fears about Lee’s injury, saying the combo guard’s health situation only requires a significant time of rest.
“Pahinga lang ang katapat nun (Lee’s injury). But we’ll find out tomorrow,” he said.
“Sa pagkaalam ko, di naman (serious), pero we’ll find out, we never know.”
While Reyes would want Gilas to go hard in practice, the health issues besetting the team makes him take the nationals’ practice as day-to-day situation.
“You see today, di naman kami makatakbo. Even (Marc) Pingris, he shouldn’t be practicing, so it’s really a cause of concern,” he stressed.