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Gilas Pass-Through: Is Pingris back? Tautuaa trains, and player injury updates

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By: Levi Verora Jr. and Matthew Li

The Gilas Pilipinas road to FIBA Asia 2015 is now in its second week; training is getting more and more intense while players in the pool are continuing to develop chemistry and have fun while retaining the competitiveness.

Here are national team updates from the Gilas practice last Thursday night.

Is Pingris back?

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Gilas Pass-Through: Is Pingris back? Tautuaa trains, and player injury updates News

Everyone in attendance was expecting Star Hotshots’ and Gilas II member Marc Pingris to arrive in practice last night. However, he did not attend practice.

Marc Pingris was set to arrive from France yesterday. Coach Tab Baldwin was disappointed that Pingris did not send a notice that he was not to attend last night’s workout.

When asked for a comment, Baldwin declined but was visibly upset about it. “For now, I have no comment,” he said regarding Pingris.

Hontiveros, Romeo returning soon

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Gilas Pass-Through: Is Pingris back? Tautuaa trains, and player injury updates News

Backcourt players Dondon Hontiveros and Terrence Romeo are set to return to training camp soon after missing the past few days.

Hontiveros (Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura) will return on Friday as he is already regaining top form. Romeo (dehydration) will be discharged from the hospital Friday.

Forward Ranidel de Ocampo is also training lightly with the team, and is feeling a lot better compared to last week although he still feels little pain due to a hamstring injury which kept him out of the first few days of Gilas practice.

European tour updates

There is no final word yet from the Gilas camp if their European tour will push through or not. Jimmy Alapag says issues with travel documents is mainly what’s keeping Gilas in town although the team is expected to leave next week and play three to four games.

Head coach Tab Baldwin added the national team is still set to play in a pocket tournament in Estonia. Moreover, Baldwin is excited for the tournament as there will be two tough teams set to join the tournament as well.

However, the Turkish leg could not push through. According to the national team head coach, it is not possible logistically as some players could not secure their visas on time.

Tautuaa enjoying training

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Gilas Pass-Through: Is Pingris back? Tautuaa trains, and player injury updates News

Photo by Nuki Sabio

PBA D-League big and projected no. 1 pick in the 2015 PBA Rookie Draft Moala Tautuaa is making the most out of his Gilas stint.

Tautuaa was brought mainly as an extra practice player for the Gilas camp and since he is only 26 years old, he may come in as a naturalized player in future tournaments.

Tautuaa is Fil-Tongan so he will not require a naturalization process like Americans Marcus Douthit and Andray Blatche. But since he has not acquired a Filipino passport before the age of 16 — which is the FIBA eligibility rule — he will play as a naturalized player and not as a “native.”

“This is just training for me. It is a good say for me to get my legs and lungs ready. I just kind of got a vacation. I spent a month doing different things, so now it is back to basketball,” he said.

Tautuaa added playing alongside Troy Rosario is — at the end of the day — just part of basketball.

“We wear the same jersey this time and even if we wear different jerseys we play because of the passion. Right now we are on the same team so I don’t look at it as a competition. We are in this together.”

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