The clock is ticking for pool members who have yet to join Gilas Pilipinas’ FIBA World Cup preparations.
The national team will participate in a pocket tournament in China during the first week of August as part of its World Cup preparations and head coach Chot Reyes has set a deadline of July 25 for those who have yet to attend practice.
“For anyone to be able to play in China, they have to come to practice at the very least on July 25,” said Reyes.
“And that is cutting it really thinly. That means we have one-week practice before China,” he added.
Only Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson and 7-foot-3 NBA aspirant Kai Sotto have not trained with the national team since June, when World Cup preparations began.
Due to their respective injuries, Jordan Heading and Carl Tamayo, who were members of the original 21-man pool, were ruled out.
Clarkson and his camp have yet to finalize discussions with the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas, whereas Sotto is anticipated to arrive in the Philippines this week after playing for the Orlando Magic in the NBA Summer League.
Clarkson, who recently signed a three-year extension with the Jazz, will serve as the naturalized Gilas Pilipinas player if all goes as planned.
“Talks are ongoing,” said Reyes.
Reyes clarified, however, that those who require additional time before attending training camp for legitimate reasons will be granted flexibility.
“We understand the situation of the others. We’re willing to bend over for them.”