IT SEEMS like Gilas Pilipinas will have to go to the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers without resident star guard Terrence Romeo.
As the National team left for Japan yesterday for its game there on Friday, Romeo wasn’t with the team and it is now very unlikely for him to be squeezed into the final line-up for the games ahead.
Reportedly, Romeo has been nursing several injuries, prompting him to miss practices both with Gilas Pilipinas and with mother team GlobalPort.
Initially, Gilas coach Chot Reyes left the door open for Romeo to be included in the final line-up should his injury heal just in time given what he can bring to the table, but now, it seems like the Nationals will have to do things without one of their usual scorers.
Without Romeo and also Jio Jalalon, who is likewise recuperating from a knee injury, Reyes will have to get things done by relying more on guards Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas and Roger Pogoy to fill-in the voids and help Gilas regular Jayson Castro in the backcourt.
The Philippines opens its home-and-away qualifiers against Japan this Friday at the Komazawa Olympic Sports Stadium before coming home to play Chinese Taipei on Monday here in Manila.
Reyes will have to submit his final line-up of 12 tomorrow on the eve of the team’s game against Japan.
From the looks of it, it seems like Romeo, according to sources with knowledge of his situation, will most likely miss out on the line-up.
In the FIBA Asia Cup last August, Romeo was Gilas’ top offensive weapon as he showed his scoring prowess to carry the team on his back the entire tournament.
On a brighter note, naturalized star Andray Blatche is slowly but surely getting into the groove of things as he’s been with the team for the last four days to catch up and insert himself into the mix.
Blatche and Castro, with Romeo most likely gone, are expected to be the focal point of Gilas’ attack.