By Ernest Hernandez
After suffering a freak injury in their game against the Phoenix Fuel Masters, Troy Rosario of TNT KaTropa showed up at Gilas practice recently. However, he is still doubtful to make the final roster cut for the FIBA World Qualifiers set this February.
“He’s cleared to practice, but he’s really not cleared to play,” said Gilas head coach Chot Reyes.
“He’s cleared to do light workouts and shooting drills but not really full contact. We’re not keeping our hopes up high for him to be able to join the team.”
Rosario was doing light practices and was prevented to join the team as they run through their plays.
“Alam naman nila yung sitwasyon. Practice na ako, shooting pa lang. Hindi pa pwede yung mga — kasi anytime na mahilo ako, delikado daw,” Rosario said.
The former NU Bulldog admits that there is still pain around his jaw area and it may take a while before he fully recovers.
“Ngayon wala na,” said Rosario if he still feels dizziness.
“Yung jaw ko na lang. Mahirap i-bukas. Tsaka yung wrist ko – ito yung isa sa mga pumalo noon – talagang hirap ako tumira.”
Still, the 6-foot-7 forward vows to attend all Gilas practices as part of his duty to the program.
“Araw-araw ako pupunta ng practice,” he said.
With Rosario out plus the exclusion of Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the Gilas roster for the second window, the team is still seeking quality big men to compensate the void.
Gilas has buckled down to intensive training, practicing daily before they leave on the 19th for Melbourne, Australia.