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Tiebreaker Times

2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

Calvin Abueva returns, Kai Sotto attends first practice


A return and a debut

Calvin Abueva might be pleading with Coach Chot Reyes and the staff of Gilas Pilipinas that he deserves to return to the lineup for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, as he attended the team’s fourth practice, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City.

Only Raymond Almazan was not present for the seniors team, as Kiefer Ravena, Matthew Wright, Allein Maliksi, Troy Rosario, Carl Cruz, Jayson Castro, Kevin Alas, Mac Belo, Jio Jalalon, Gabe Norwood, and Roger Pogoy were in attendance.

June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar sat out the practice.

Filling up the gym were plenty of the 23 for 2023 cadets and guests.

Headlining the young guns was 7-foot-1 big man Kai Sotto. Joining Sotto were Abu Tratter, CJ Perez, Kai Sotto, Arvin Tolentino, Will Gozum, Paul Desiderio, Kenneth Tuffin, Jeo Ambohot, Juan Gomez de Liano, J-jay Alejandro, Matt Nieto, Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Robert Bolick, and Javee Mocon.

Joshua Sinclair, who is recovering from ACL surgery, was on the sidelines. Ricci Rivero was also there but was not in uniform.

Ola Adeogun and Eugene Toba, foreign student-athletes from San Beda College, and former Ateneo Blue Eagle Chibueze Ikeh helped out in the preparations.

Reyes presided over the night’s drills, while PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial and SBP official Robbie Puno watched.

The Philippines will face Australia in Melbourne on February 22, before returning back home to take on Japan on February 25. Gilas owns a 2-0 record in Group B.

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