MANILA – Sixteen players came to the Meralco Gym in Pasig on Monday night to attend the Gilas Pilipinas practice with 14 of them actively participating.
Among the Philippine Basketball Association players who joined the practice were San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez; TNT stars RR Pogoy, Poy Erram, and Calvin Oftana; Ginebra's Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, and Jamie Malonzo; and NorthPort's Arvin Tolentino and Will Navarro.
Meralco's Chris Newsome and Ginebra's resident import Justin Brownlee, a candidate for naturalization, were in attendance too, but they didn't participate for various reasons.
Newsome was even sidelined for the Bolts' game against the Gin Kings the night before due to a calf contusion but was praised for still attending the practice.
Brownlee, on the other hand, took the day off due to the wear and tear in leading Ginebra to a 99-91 win over Meralco.
Despite having to play the previous night, Coach Chot Reyes commended the Gin Kings as well as Newsome for showing up as they performed well in the drills.
“We told the players, some of them had games last night (Sunday). Everyone has also practiced today (Monday), so we’re not gonna overextend them,” said Reyes. “We have specific things that we want to achieve. So today, we wanted to achieve a couple of things done and they went hard right away. These guys are in shape, but more importantly, get the opportunity of playing together.
Meanwhile, Ateneo's Ange Kouame, University of the Philippines' Carl Tamayo, and La Salle's Kevin Quiambao joined the practices too as well as unattached forward Lebron Lopez.
Tamayo and Quiambao were allies again after squaring off in their University Athletic Association of the Philippines season opener on Saturday night.
Understanding the fatigue factor among the pros, the training lasted for only one hour. (PNA)