A high chance that Jayson Castro might not play in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, Gilas PIlipinas head coach Yeng Guiao exposed after the team wrapped up its first official practice on Monday at the Meralco Gym.
There were only eight players that showed up in the two-hour training; June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Marcio Lassiter, Raymond Almazan, Roger Pogoy, Gabe Norwood, Mark Barroca and Troy Rosario.
Castro asked to be excused for the day. Guiao said they are concerned with the situation of Castro, who is dealing with personal matters.
“We’re just going to finalize his status. He has personal priorities so we will finalize that within the week if he’s going to be staying with the team or taking a break,” Guiao stated.
Asked on what the personal issues were, Guiao said Castro is “the only guy who can answer that.”
“He has served the national team for so long now. I don’t think we can say anything against him thinking about taking a break,” stated Guiao.
Castro, who got married last Saturday, will certainly leave a huge void for Gilas if he indeed takes a break from national team duties. Yet Guiao is confident the younger guys will be able to fill that.
“Of course (he’s a big loss). But to me, we have a deep talent pool. And it’s also time for the next generation to be given the chance. Also next week, Kiefer Ravena can practice. He’s one of the guys we’re looking to take up the place of Jayson,” he concluded.