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Chot Reyes already aware of Carl Tamayo's situation as UP star begs off from Gilas duties

Carl Tamayo's ankle injury forced him to beg off from playing for Gilas next week. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

ANTIPOLO—Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes already knew that Carl Tamayo will be begging off from Gilas Pilipinas duties for now even before the University of the Philippines' "King Maroon" made his announcement on Saturday.

Tamayo revealed after UP's huge win over the University of the East in the second round of the UAAP men's basketball eliminations at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City that he will use the league's FIBA World Cup Qualifiers break to give his injured ankle a rest.

"Alam naman namin yun that he couldn't make it," Reyes, the concurrent TNT coach in the PBA, said later in the day, right after the PLDT franchise took down Terrafirma at the Ynares Center here.

Tamayo hurt his ankle during the Fighting Maroons' first-round meeting against the Red Warriors, and somehow, the injury may have played a factor in their rematch as he was held scoreless.

Despite the uncertainty of his injury status, Tamayo was included in the 20-man Gilas pool for the fifth window of the WCQ, where the national team battles Jordan and Saudi Arabia on the road, and Reyes stressed the need for a pool despite the injury woes to the likes of Tamayo.

"The reason why there is a pool is that we knew that not everyone will be available. People are going to be injured or have other issues, so we just go next man up," Reyes further said.

With pro stars June Mar Fajardo and Chris Newsome also in injury bay, the Gilas pool is down to 17, and Reyes also revealed that Ray-Ray Parks and Thirdy Ravena also have injuries of their own, which could further trim the number of players in consideration for the "Final 12".

"Whoever is available and healthy, those are the players who are coming with us in Jordan," Reyes further said, adding that the injured players will stay home in the meantime.

However, not all of the "healthy" players could be in as Reyes also said that NorthPort players Arvin Tolentino and William Navarro might stay home as well.

"Hindi sila pwede talaga," Reyes further said.

The Batang Pier have two games scheduled next week, which is also the week for the WCQ fifth window, against the NLEX Road Warriors on Wednesday night and the Terrafirma Dyip three nights later.

Fans, however, would have to just wait for the games against Jordan and Saudi Arabia next week as Reyes is not keen on revealing who will make the shortlist in the Middle East trip.

"We don't want to release the players who are going kasi ayaw natin ipaalam sa kalaban. Bakit natin sila tutulungan?" Reyes further said. "I hope you appreciate that and understand where we're coming from."

He did say, however, that the number of players joining will be "more than 12."

Gilas will leave at 11 p.m. Monday, and upon arriving at Amman, Australian NBL star Kai Sotto will join the team for training ahead of the said matches.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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