Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes (left) and cager Calvin AbuevaComposite Image via Philstar, Bounty Sports photos/Jonathan Asuncion
MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes cleared the air surrounding the status of the team's big ball of energy that is Calvin Abueva.
The raging-bull swingman is part of the pool, that's for sure. But whether he will be included in the 12-man lineup against Australia next week is not yet set in stone, the tactician bared on Tuesday night during the national team's practice at the Meralco Gym in Pasig.
"He’s still part of the pool. He continues to come and practice as part of the pool, just like everybody else here," Reyes, the purveyor of the Philippines' rallying cry "Puso," said.
"We haven’t made any decisions either way because we’re still assessing the injury status of the other guys," he explained.
"We’re not yet in a position to make any final decisions or determinations sa lineup," he added.
Abueva, for his part, vowed to keep working hard in practices.
"Sa akin nga, ginagawa ko lang 'yung best ko dito," Abueva said in a separate interview when asked about his possible return to the lineup. "Sayang rin na mag-skip ka sa second window kaya mahalaga sa akin ito."
Watch Reyes reveal more on the possibility of Abueva's inclusion to any — or even both — of the games for the second window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers that gets going next week.
The Filipinos take on the Aussies first on February 22 in Melbourne. They make a quick trip back home for their home stand against the Japanese at the Mall of Asia Arena on February 25.