GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes assured Alaska big man Sonny Thoss that he’ll still be part of the national team training pool even if he skips the scheduled training camp in Lithuania due to his scheduled trip to Beijing, China to seek treatment on his back.
But at the same time, the national coach cautioned that Thoss’ absence would have a serious effect once the coaching staff deliberates on the final roster of the team for the FIBA-Asia Men’s Championships set this August in Manila.
“Wala siya sa camp, yes,” Reyes confirmed to Spin.ph on Monday.
“Pero napakalaking bagay nung camp. He’s still part of the pool, but that (absence) won’t help him (in his bid to make the final 12),” added the Gilas coach.
As it is, Thoss, a mainstay of the Gilas team that won the Jones Cup and placed fourth in the Fiba-Asia Cup last year, faces tough competition for the frontline places with the arrival of fellow big men Japeth Aguilar of Globalport, Petron rookie June Mar Fajardo, and college star Greg Slaughter.
Thoss' hopes have also been dented by his inability to participate in Gilas' once-a-week practices in the past months or orders of Alaska.
Gilas is scheduled to undergo training with Lithuanian coach Kestutis Kemzura in the Baltic resort town of Palanga on June 2-16. Six games against top Lithuanian clubs are on tap for the national training squad.
Reyes said they have yet to discuss when Gilas will resume its practices just before the team leaves for Lithuania.