GILAS Pilipinas will not have prized big men Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger at its disposal in the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.
Program director Tab Baldwin said yesterday the 6-foot-9 Aguilar, named finals MVP in the PBA Governor’s Cup title win of Ginebra against Meralco last month, and the Fil-German Standhardinger, are not suiting up when the nationals tackle Thailand on the road on Feb. 20 and host Indonesia on Feb. 23.
The high-flying Aguilar will spend time with wife Cassandra in a delayed honeymoon while the 6-foot-8 Standhardinger, who bagged the Best Player of the Conference award in the season-ending tourney, will rehabilitate a nagging leg injury.
“Japeth is out. He has informed us that he is going on a delayed honeymoon.
Congratulations to him. It’s always nice to go on a honeymoon. We all wished we could go to another one. He is not available for the first window,” Baldwin was quoted as saying by online sports portal spin.ph.
“Obviously, Christian has gone through his issue and that’s very real. We understand that.
We don’t want to put any player in jeopardy because he is rehabbing an injury and he is on a specific time table. We just have to accept that for this window and understand that,” he added.
Kiefer Ravena, CJ Perez, Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy were the pro league players who showed up in Gilas’ first practice under interim coach Mark Dickel with Standhardinger, Marc Pingris, and Poy Erram in street clothes.
Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto and Allyn Bulanadi, on loan to Gilas after being drafted in the special draft last year, were also present.
Completing the attendees were Thirdy Ravena, Jaydee Tungcab, Dave Ildefonso, Juan Gomez De Liano, Javi Gomez De Liano and Dwight Ramos, while Kobe Paras was in street clothes.
Dickel and Baldwin ran the practice, while Sandy Arespacochaga, Baldwin’s lead deputy at Ateneo in the UAAP, former Alaska tactician Alex Compton, and Phoenix assistant coach and Lyceum strategist Topex Robinson were present.