HE is the only Filipino doctor to be part of the medical team of the Fiba-World Cup over its last three editions.
But at a time when Gilas Pilipinas finally made it to the biggest basketball stage in the world set this year in Spain, renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Raul Canlas won’t be around to be part of the July 31 to August 14 meet.
“I refused the assignment,” said Canlas, a member of the Fiba medical commission and resident Spin.ph columnist, in a brief chat during the ‘Gabi ng Pagpupugay’ last week.
Canlas said the demand of the work as part of the Fiba medical team will be doubly hard this time considering the World Cup is going to be held in five different cities outside the Spanish capital of Madrid – namely Barcelona, Granada, Brakaldo, Las Palmas, and Seville, where coach Chot Reyes' Gilas side will be playing.
The popular Filipino doctor stressed the distances between the five cities entails a lot of travelling for the Fiba medical team and he said he is no longer up to it.
“Nakakapagod,” said Canlas, who was part of the team during the 2002, 2006, and 2010 editions of the world championship held in Indianapolis, USA, Saitama, Japan and Istanbul, Turkey, respectively.
“Its five cities and by train lang, with (a travel time of) four to five hours. Maybe 10 years ago, I’ve accepted it. But it’s a little tiring,” said Canlas, who’ve worked with top athletes both local and foreign in the past.
The country is seeing action in the World Cup for the first time since hosting the meet in 1978 following its strong runner-up finish behind Iran in the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship last year.
Canlas, however, is not discounting the possibility of still pushing through with a planned trip to Spain, not to work, but to watch the Philippines see action in the world championship for the first time in 36 years.
“If ever, baka spectator lang,” he said.