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Tiebreaker Times

2020 Tokyo Olympics

Gilas skipper Rey Suerte suffers ankle injury in Calambubble

Rey Suerte suffered a tough break, incurring an ankle sprain during Gilas Pilipinas’ practice Wednesday evening at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

During one play, the 6-foot-2 swingman was going for a rebound. Unfortunately, he miscalculated his landing, resulting in added unnecessary weight on his ankle.

Initial timetable is that Suerte will be out for two to three weeks.

“By my estimation, it looks like a Grade 2 or 3 sprain, so it could take one to two weeks to recover. We’re hoping there will be no fractures when he gets his x-ray,” said Gilas trainer Dex Aseron.

The 26-year-old Cebuano would have been the captain of the team in both the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ Clark window; and the Belgrade Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

“The swelling is significant,” said Gilas program director Tab Baldwin.

“He was recently designated as our Team Captain, so this is not good news at all. It’s unfortunate because he was also doing very well in practice.”

The 6-foot-4 gunner has already played in two games in the Qualifiers.

After missing the Indonesia game, Suerte started both games against Thailand.

He finished with nine points with 4-of-8 shooting from the field during their first meeting. In the rematch, Suerte exhibited his all-around skills by not only contributing four points, but also racking three rebounds, three assists, and a steal.

Suerte’s injury now leaves Isaac Go and Mike Nieto as the remaining 2019 draftees in the team. Allyn Bulanadi is still recuperating from a shoulder injury; meanwhile, Matt Nieto suffered a broken hand last month.

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“Rey has been our captain and eldest member of the team, so his maturity has been a stabilizing force in our group. He’s also an excellent three-point shooter who has a scorer’s mentality, so he has become a reliable source of points,” explained Baldwin.

“We will miss his leadership and scoring punch in the team.”

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