Jun 11, 2021

Six PBA Gilas draftees ready for duty in FIBA Clark bubble

SIX PBA special draft selections are left to vie for spots in the Gilas Pilipinas team in the coming FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Clark with Rey Suerte and Matt Nieto struck by injuries.

Suerte is now nursing a sprained ankle and Nieto a broken hand, making them unavailable for the June 16-20 event where the Nationals meet South Korea and Indonesia at the resumption of Pool A play.

But there are other able bodies ready to answer the call for duty, including other PBA Gilas special draftees Isaac Go, Nieto's twin Mike, Jordan Heading, Tzaddy Rangel, William Navarro and Jaydee Tungcab.

Go has seen action in all three previous games of Team Phl in the qualifiers while Mike, Navarro and Tungcab have played once.

Suerte, special draft selection of Blackwater in 2019 and now serving as the Gilas captain, has played two games, averaging 6.5 points, 2.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds.

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He's a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, compiling 13 points in two games versus Thailand during the November 2020 window in Manama, Bahrain.

Kai Sotto and new naturalized player Ange Kouame will make their debut as Gilas seniors, providing ceiling for the Nationals as they take on the Lester Prosper-led Indonesian side and the Ricardo Ratliffe-powered Koreans.

The Nationals and the Korean play at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the AUF Gym in Angeles, Pampanga. Gilas will be up against Indonesia on June 18 and will have its rematch with Korea on June 20.

Thailand is also in the country, playing its last two games in Pool A.

The Clark bubble will also feature China, Japan, Chinese Taipei in Group B clashes. (SB)

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