Thompson out, Pogoy in for Gilas in do-or-die clash at Kazakhstan

Thompson out, Pogoy in for Gilas in do-or-die clash at Kazakhstan

RR Pogoy officially makes a Gilas comeback. Dennis Acosta (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—RR Pogoy may make or break Gilas Pilipinas' hopes of making the FIBA World Cup.

Pogoy, who is now eligible to play national team ball again, made the Final 12 for Gilas in its Asian Qualifiers showdown against Kazakhstan.

As announced on Saturday night, Pogoy will take over the place of Scottie Thompson in the Philippine team that will battle Kazakhstan in a crucial showdown in Astana.

Effectively speaking, Thirdy Ravena, the lone collegiate standout in the pool, stays in the Final 12 as well as Japeth Aguilar, Mark Barroca, Andray Blatche, Jayson Castro, Poy Erram, June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, and Troy Rosario.

Pogoy sat out for five consecutive games for Gilas as penalty for his role in the team's infamous brawl with Australia on July 2 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue.

[Related Story: FIBA hands suspensions for Gilas-Australia brawl]

Gilas needs to beat Kazakhstan and hope that either Japan, Jordan, or Lebanon falter in their respective games to make the group stages.

Japan will visit Qatar, Jordan will host New Zealand, and Lebanon will welcome South Korea in games simultaneously to be played with the Gilas-Kazakhstan match.

The said tiffs, plus the Iran-Australia clash, will start at 10:30 p.m. Sunday night (Philippine Time).

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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