Fajardo, Edu out of Gilas in FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers first window

Fajardo, Edu out of Gilas in FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers first window

JUNE MAR FAJARDO is out, Japeth Aguilar is in.

Gilas Pilipinas will embark on the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers with only 11 players following the injury to Mr.  Fajardo.

“He’s been ruled out with a calf injury,” Gilas coach Tim Cone told the STAR as he confirmed the unavailability of the seven-time PBA MVP for the games against host Hong Kong (Feb. 22) and visiting Chinese-Taipei (Feb. 25).

Mr. Fajardo’s absence leaves youthful Kai Sotto with the primary task of patrolling the shaded area with newly-inserted Mr. Aguilar as partner-backup.

Mr. Aguilar, who wasn’t part of the 12-man lineup handpicked by Mr. Cone for his four-year program, has been enlisted to take the spot of AJ Edu, who is nursing a knee injury.

“No (replacement for June Mar). Japeth (Aguilar) is joining us as a replacement for AJ (Edu). We will go with 11 players,” said Mr. Cone.

The Gilas 11 — Justin Brownlee, Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome, Calvin Oftana, CJ Perez, Jamie Malonzo, Dwight Ramos, Carl Tamayo, Kevin Quiambao, Kai Sotto and Aguilar — wrapped up its four-day training camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna.

The Nationals hold an open workout at the PhilSports Arena today, which will serve as their send-off activity for the opening campaign in the Qualifiers.

“Hoping for a great practice tomorrow (Monday), 6 to 8 p.m. Open to the public, no tickets necessary,” Mr. Cone said. “Hope to see everyone there.” — Olmin Leyba