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Heading ruled out of World Cup


‘I know that he’s rehabilitating his back.’

A bad back has sidelined lefty dead shot Jordan Heading for the World Cup

Gilas Pilipinas lost yet another pool member when gunner Jordan Heading had been formally ruled out of the FIBA Basketball World Cup that the country will host from 25 August to 10 September.

Gilas coach Chot Reyes admitted that Heading will no longer join them after sustaining a back injury while playing for Nagasaki Velca in the Division II of the Japan B. League.

Heading, in fact, is currently in the country but is expected to fly to the United States in the coming days to continue his recovery, making him the second player to pull out after Carl Tamayo.

Tamayo, who also campaigns in Japan, begged off to rest his injured knee prior to the start of the Gilas training camp in Laguna.

“Nope,” Reyes said when asked if the lefty gunner will still be able to join the squad that is entering the final stretch of its preparation for the prestigious 32-nation event.

“I know that he’s rehabilitating his back. I don’t know if he’s going to be able to join us.”

Since arriving from their training camp in Lithuania, only 16 players have been showing up for Gilas Pilipinas.

Leading the attendees are naturalized players Ange Kouame and Justin Brownlee as well as mainstays June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Chris Newsome, CJ Perez, Calvin Oftana, Jamie Malonzo, Poy Erram, Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Ray Parks, Rhenz Abando and the newest member of the program AJ Edu.

Ramos and Edu have already recovered from their respective injuries while Pogoy has yet to be in tip-top shape despite having some light workouts and shooting drills during their training last Monday at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City.

But the biggest stars in the team — Kai Sotto and Jordan Clarkson — have yet to report for duty despite their earlier commitments of joining Gilas in the final stretch of their preparation and reinforce them in the pocket tourney against Iran, Lebanon and Senegal in China from 2 to 6 August.

Sotto vowed to join the training after the National Basketball Association Summer League while Clarkson committed six weeks of training with the Filipinos.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is expected to make an announcement about the situation of Sotto and Clarkson in the coming days.

Sideliners believe that the federation is expected to add new players like former Gilas stalwarts Arvin Tolentino and Marcio Lassiter into the pool.

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