Ian Sangalang has been removed from the pool for the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, according to Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao.
Sangalang has been a no-show in Gilas' practice sessions for two weeks now. Magnolia's grueling series against Ginebra in the Governors' Cup semifinals took a toll on Sangalang, who had said earlier he is experiencing pain in his right knee and ankle.
"He was battered in the semifinals. And I think the urgency for his services is not that needed, so maybe he chose to just recover and rest himself," Guiao said in Filipino in the aftermath of a 74-68 loss at the hands of Lebanon at the University of the Philippines' new Epsilon Chi Center on Friday.
"We don't take that against him," he added. "But for now I guess it will make our job sort of easy because we will only have to choose from 19 players."
Guiao said about five or six players are shoo-ins but refused to name them, but admitted he and his coaching staff are having a hard time in evaluating who will make the rest of the final 12.
Gilas is set to face Kazakhstan on November 30 before playing Iran on December 3. Both games will be held at the MOA Arena.