Source : Reynaldo Belen, InterAKTV
The SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national team will no longer travel to Qatar for a pocket tournament.
National team coach Rajko Toroman confirmed the news to InterAKTV, explaining that his squad pulled out of the Doha joust because of a lack of healthy personnel.
“Talk ‘N Text is not ready to play and we only have nine healthy players,” wrote Toroman in a text message.
Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, and Ranidel de Ocampo, who are currently seeing action for the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters in the 2011 PBA Governors’ Cup finals, had been scheduled to join the team in Qatar. With the departure of veteran guard Dondon Hontiveros, Toroman said that the team was planning to tap one more member of Talk ‘N Text to reinforce SMART-Gilas.
But with the PBA finals only scheduled to end this Sunday, there might not be enough time for the Talk ‘N Text players to fully recharge for the Qatar tourney.
SMART-Gilas guards Jayvee Casio, Mark Barroca, and Chris Tiu are also currently battling injuries.
Toroman had originally planned to use the Qatar tournament to integrate the additional PBA players into his system. Also scheduled to join the pocket competition were the national teams of Qatar, Syria, and Lebanon.
The Qatar tilt would have been the last international stint for SMART-Gilas as they gear up for the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships in Wuhan, China next month, which serves as the qualifier for Asia’s lone spot in basketball competition in the 2012 London Olympics.