Back injury forces Scottie Thompson to sit out FIBA OQT

Gilas will now be without Scottie Thompson for the FIBA OQT. Inspire Sports Academy
By Ivan Saldajeno

BONTOC--Gilas Pilipinas could be one man down for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament as Scottie Thompson was noticeably absent at the start of their short training camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba City on Friday.

Gilas team manager Richard Del Rosario confirmed that the six-foot-one combo guard is suffering from a back injury, lingering since Ginebra's PBA Philippine Cup semifinals against Chris Newsome and eventual champion Meralco.

This means Newsome, who was spectacular throughout last conference's playoffs, could be in for extended minutes playing more point guard chores for Gilas with their primary point guard out.

Another possibility is naming a late injury replacement, preferably a point guard, to take Thompson's place, but with Gilas pressed for time, the likelihood is that they will enter the OQT in Riga with only 11 players.

Jamie Malonzo and AJ Edu were already ruled out for Gilas, prompting coach Tim Cone to activate their two reserves, Japeth Aguilar and Mason Amos.

The current Gilas active roster is present during Day 1 even as Cone once again called up Ginebra players Ralph Cu and Donald Gumaru as practice players.

The training camp is expected to run through the weekend before Gilas plays the Taiwan Mustangs in a tune-up game on Monday night at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

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