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Baldwin aware of Gilas injury bug but stays positive

Dennis Acosta (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Gilas Pilipinas has been getting hit by injury bug recently with point guards Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo joining the growing list of hurt Nationals with an Achilles tendon and calf injury respectively.

Coach Tab Baldwin knows the scenario as the countdown to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament is getting lower.

"We're gonna have to live with that. It's gonna happen. It's the middle of the PBA season. I got to talk to them all, and everybody clearly understands the situation," Baldwin said after Gilas' weekly training at the Moro Lorenzo Sports Center on Monday.

Only eight healthy players from the PBA pool participated in the practice to be joined by the Gilas Cadets.

However, Baldwin expressed his optimism despite the players' health issue that he evaluated the practice, "It's OK."

Castro attended the practice session although his injury, a recurrence of the Achilles injury he got in 2014, relegated him to an observer, while Romeo was the notable absentee.

Junemar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Dondon Hontiveros, Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, and Jeff Chan also came in, although their respective injuries sidelined them for the practice session.

Baldwin, on the other hand, said that Gilas gives its trust to the team doctors in rehabilitating the injured players in time for the OQT on July 5-10.

"We have a lot of confidence in the PBA teams' doctors. These guys have been through injuries over the years. We have very good sports doctors here in the Philippines. These injuries aren't new to them. They've seen them. They know how to treat them," he uttered specifically.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno