Photo by Jamie Velasco/Courtside Philippines

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Gilas frontline choices go thinner as Aguilar, Standhardinger beg off from Gilas pool

by Reynald Magallon, February 06, 2020 11:15pm

The Gilas Pilipinas frontline choices unexpectedly became thinner as Gilas mainstays Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger begged off from the Gilas pool.

Gilas Pilipinas program director and assistant coach Tab Baldwin bared the news in the national team's first practice at the Moro Lorenzo Gym in Ateneo on Thursday.

Baldwin said Aguilar will not be playing for the February window as the 6'9" forward is on a delayed honeymoon after getting married late last year. Standhardinger, on the other hand, is in a rehab process for a nagging knee injury keeping him unavailable for the Qualifier's first window.

"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,” said Baldwin.

Standhardinger was actually present in the Gilas practice but was only there to personally talk to Baldwin regarding his decision.

Photo by Jamie Velasco

"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,” he added.

With country's top big men out from the pool, it leaves a gaping hole at the center position for the national team. During their first practice, only Isaac Go was able to participate in the scrimmages while Marc Pingris and Poi Erram were present but in street clothes.

Aside from the veterans, De La Salle's 6'7" center, Justine Baltazar was also one of the players who can fill in for Aguilar and Standhardinger's positions, but he was, likewise, missing in the Gilas' first practice.

" That's a mystery, because we expected him here, he informed us, he would be here. I haven't got any update on that," said Baldwin.

Gilas will have daily practices for two weeks in preparation for their games against Indonesia and Thailand.

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