FOR those still entertaining hope that either Arwind Santos or KG Canaleta, or both, will be added to Gilas Pilipinas' injury-hit roster, better give it a rest.
Gilas coach Chot Reyes has shot down the possibility of bringing in more people to the team that is now preparing for the Fiba-Asia Men's Basketball Championship even if his pool of players has dropped to 15 following the pullout of Kelly Williams and Jared Dillinger due to health issues.
There had been a growing clamor for Reyes to beef up his pool, with Santos and Canaleta getting most of the attention due to their impressive performance not only in the PBA Commissioner's Cup but also during Sunday's All-Star game against Gilas in Digos City.
Reyes, however, said that adding players to the pool will only make the decision difficult for the coaching staff when it is time to trim down the list to 12 for the Manila showpiece.
“Madaling gawing 17 (ang players sa pool), walang problema. Maski nga gawin nating 18. Pero kapag dinagdagan natin, paano natin ibababa sa 12?” Reyes said after Gilas’ 80-72 win over the Shanghai Sharks in the Philippines-China Friendship Games on Monday.
“Kung meron makakapagsabi sa inyo na gusto ipasok si Arwind or si KG, sino naman ang aalisin natin?” Reyes added while rattling off the names of Jeff Chan, Larry Fonacier, Gary David, Gabe Norwood, Marc Pingris, and Ranidel De Ocampo.
“’Yun kasi ang ka-pwesto nila. If anyone can convince me that anyone of those six deserves not to be in the national team, then we will consider."
Reyes said the health issues that ruled out Williams (blood disorder) and Dillinger (injuries sustained in a car accident) only validated the team's decision to name a big pool for the Fiba-Asia tournament.
“But the reason we have 17 in the first place is to provide a cushion in case may ma-injured o magkasakit. Kung magdadagdag pa tayo ngayon, mamomroblema pa tayo kung sino ‘yung mawawala,” said Reyes.
As it is, Reyes said the task of trimming down the team to 12 will already be a tough task.
“Mahirap at masakit,” Reyes said.