Guiao reminds Gilas players to check lists of banned substances

NLEX star Kiefer Ravena continues to serve as a cautionary tale as Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao reminded players to double check food supplements and energy drinks.

"I just oriented the players and reminded them of the energy drinks or any substance they take, whether that's an energy drink or food supplement because we don't want any repetition of the incident on Kiefer," Guiao said after Monday's practice.

Ravena is halfway through serving an 18-month suspension by FIBA for testing positive for three banned substances in a random test conducted by the world's governing body for basketball on Feb. 25, 2018.

Ravena was also banned from playing in the PBA or participating in any basketball activities.

Gilas did welcome back a number of players and will face some difficult roster decisions heading into the final window of the 2019 FIBA Asian Cup Qualifiers.

Roger Pogoy returned from a FIBA-imposed five-game suspension for his role in the July 2, 2018 brawl with Australia.

Magnolia veteran guard Mark Barroca is making his return to the national team after playing for the original Smart-Gilas team, from 2009 to 2011.

Guiao will have to decide whether to replace Rain or Shine's Raymond Almazan, who is dealing with an ankle sprain and bone spurs, and TNT's Troy Rosario, who is out with a broken nose.

Gilas plays Qatar on Feb. 21 followed by Kazakhstan on Feb. 24, both away games.

"Troy and Raymond are both eager to play but the only question is will they heal in time for them to be able to play," Guiao said.

Andray Blatche is set to arrive by Feb. 1 and Guiao wants to evaluate Blatche's conditioning and readiness. Christian Standhardinger will be on standby for Gilas as a natrualized player.