Gilas Pilipinas Tim Cone said the coaching staff is weighing all options on how to deal with the unexpected sidelining of shooter RR Pogoy a week before the national cagers are set to begin its title retention bid in the Southeast Asian Games.
Pogoy went down with a back injury last Sunday in the TNT KaTropa's semis-clinching 98-97 victory over deposed champion Magnolia and was diagnosed with a disc bulge in his lumbosacral joint, which needs a couple of weeks to heal.
"It's a big blow because he was one of our best shooters and two-way players," said Cone in sharing this development.
With Pogoy ruled out, Cone is now left with 11 healthy players in his arsenal and may choose from among the three who were earlier cut, namely Greg Slaughter, Scottie Thompson and Art dela Cruz. Reactivating Jayson Castro, who has just come back from injury, is also said to be considered as well.
"He (Pogoy) will be difficult to replace. At this point, we are exploring various scenarios before we settle on our response to RR's exclusion," said Cone.
Pogoy was looking to suit up for the national team again after competing in the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China last September.
The Cebuano gunner was enjoying a solid conference before hurting his back, averaging 20.27 points on a hot 47 percent shooting for the KaTropa in the PBA Governors' Cup.
"The prognosis is he will need a couple of weeks before he can return to the court. That unfortunately will eliminate him from the Gilas lineup," said Cone.
According to team manager Gabby Cui, Pogoy has been advised to have full rest for a week before he can start rehab. (OL)