Manny Pangilinan sad over Gilas mainstays’ withdrawal from the team

MANILA, Philippines – Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan expressed sadness over the decision of several Gilas Pilipinas players’ decision to withdraw from the team.

Spin. ph reported that MVP took to Twitter in expressing his feelings and said: “Sad day for Phil basketball. But thank you to the team which helped the national cause. Laban Pilipinas. Puso.”

San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, Barangay Ginebra’s LA Tenorio and Star Hotshots’ Marc Pingris, whose teams are all owned by the San Miguel Corporation, all had their own reasons why they couldn’t play for the national team despite being listed in Coach Tab Baldwin’s 16-man pool.

Tenorio begged off from joining Gilas; saying fatigue from his last national team stint affected his PBA season with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

On the other hand, Pingris dropped by the national team’s practice at the Meralco Gym in Pasig on Saturday, August 15, to formally excuse himself from joining the Gilas Pilipinas pool to focus on his mother team, Star Hotshots’ campaign, in the next PBA season.

His agent, Ed Ponceja said, the 33-year-old player really wants to play for the national team, but given Star Hotshots performance in the last three conferences plus the fact that they will be training under new coach, Jason Webb, he chose to focus his attention and effort in his mother team.

Back-to-back PBA MVP Fajardo, who was hoped by Coach Tab Baldwin to be Gilas’ centerpiece, said he is still recovering from a plantar fasciitis injury that he suffered from the last PBA season.

Tenorio’s Ginebra teammate Japeth Aguilar also excused himself because he needs to undergo surgery for his dislocated finger.

With just a few weeks remaining before Gilas opens its campaign in the 2015 FIBA Asia Men’s Championship in Changsa, Hunan, China against Palestine, the remaining members of the national team must give all they have in order to win.