SCOTTIE'S REPLACEMENT? | RR Pogoy seen in Gilas' OQT 'Calambubble'

RR Pogoy has joined Gilas' training camp in Calamba City, but will he make it to the final OQT roster? PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

BONTOC—It turns out that there are 14 players in Gilas' ongoing training bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba City.

Aside from bringing in Ginebra players Ralph Cu and Donald Gumaru, national team coach Tim Cone also invited TNT's RR Pogoy to join Gilas' active roster in practice.

New Far Eastern University head coach Sean Chambers, who will join Cone's coaching staff for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, first posted a photo of him and the former King Tamaraw in an Instagram post on Friday.

It turned out that it was not a one-night-only deal as June Mar Fajardo posted a video of Pogoy participating in Day 2 on Saturday on his Facebook page, further fueling speculations that Pogoy could be in line to replace Scottie Thompson for the OQT.

Thompson was ruled out for the OQT due to a back injury that he suffered during the PBA Philippine Cup for the Gin Kings.

With reserves Japeth Aguilar and Mason Amos already taking the places of the injured AJ Edu and Jamie Malonzo in the main lineup, Gilas is in danger of joining the OQT with only 11 men.

Gilas is expected to end their "Calambubble" on Sunday, the day before they take on TAT's Taiwan Mustangs in a friendly on Monday night at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

Meanwhile, hopes are flickering that former NBA champions Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, and Quinn Cook will get to suit up for Taiwan in the tune-up game.

However, Fajardo, Kai Sotto, and Japeth Aguilar still need to contain someone inside the paint as seven-foot-five beanpole Sam Deguara is expected to suit up for the foreign club coached by former PBA and MPBL coach Chris Gavina.

But whether Pogoy will see action for Gilas in the said game remains a question, and even if he does, it's still gonna be a race against time to secure the needed clearance for him to join Gilas' European trip which will cap with the OQT in Riga from July 2-7.

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