Jun 23, 2021

No Gilas OQT stint for PBA draftees Nieto, Suerte

LADY Luck failed to smile on Rey Suerte anew.

The special PBA draftee will no longer be considered for a Gilas Pilipinas roster spot for next week's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia.

Suerte along with another fellow draftee Matt Nieto, are both ruled out for the June 29 to July 4 meet as players who suited up in the just concluded FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers are the ones being prioritized by the national team coaching staff for inclusion.

Both Nieto and Suerte failed to join the qualifiers at the Clark bubble after going down with injuries.

The no. 2 pick in the 2019 special draft by Blackwater, Suerte sprained his ankle just a week before the qualifying tournament, while Nieto, picked after Suerte by NLEX in the same draft, was out after suffering a broken hand in a freak accident during practice.

Sponsored content:
"The players that we have in the (Clark) bubble are the players that will go to Serbia," said head coach Tab Baldwin.

Another special draftee belonging to the same rookie class in Allyn Bulanadi also skipped the qualifiers as he continues to undergo rehabilitation from a shoulder surgery. The former San Sebastian star was the no. 4 pick by the Alaska Aces.

That leaves other special draftees Isaac Go, and Mike Nieto along with Jordan Heading, William Navarro, and possibly Jaydee Tungcab vying for spots in the OQT.

Baldwin and his coaching staff will evaluate the 12-man team they will bring along to Belgrade after their one-game tune up against China at the Angeles University Foundation gym on Wednesday.

The national team leaves for Serbia on Thursday afternoon.(RG)

Sponsored content: