National men’s basketball team coach Chot Reyes refused to confirm or deny Alaska’s Sonny Thoss’ 'observer' status with Gilas Pilipinas, but still welcomed the Aces slotman's presence in practice.
“Hindi pa kami nakapag-usap because nung tumawag siya kanina our bigger concern was yung his family emergency,” he said after Monday night's practice at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“So (if that’s the case), that’s still better than not really practicing at all.”
Reyes said he talked earlier in the day with Thoss, who confirmed he was cleared by Alaska management to attend to Gilas practice, but just had to fly to Cebu the same day to attend to a family emergency.
But just minutes after Reyes broke the good news on Twitter, Alaska management clarified that Thoss may only attend Gilas trainings as an observer until the Aces’ last playing day in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Aside from Thoss, fellow center Greg Slaughter was absent from Gilas practice as he was recovering from a sprained shoulder he suffered during NLEX practice earlier in the day.
Still, Gilas had a fruitful second practice as a team, simulating dribble-drive offense plays.
“Very high energy, very good participation of the players,” Reyes said, adding Gilas will continue to hold the once-a-week practice format until June 1 before shifting to daily practices in preparation for the Fiba-Asia men’s championship in Manila to be held in the first two weeks of August.