Coach Yeng Guiao said on Wednesday that players who won't make Gilas Pilipinas' 12-man lineup for the FIBA World Cup are assured of a slot in the contingent for the Southeast Asian Games come December.
"It's not a hundred percent, but what I'm assuring the guys is if there will be cuts made from the 15 players, I will make sure that the three will have a slot in the SEA Games," he said.
Guiao said this is the least that he can do in planning for Southeast Asia's biggest sporting meet as the tournament's committee has imposed a September 2 deadline for providing a rough lineup.
"Of course we can't extensively think a lot about the SEA Games. We are trying to focus on the World Cup, but they are asking for a list so we're internally talking about who's on it," said Guiao.
"But if ever, we're going to talk about that in China," he added. "Let's form this team first before forming another one.
The coaching staff still hasn't provided any names on who the cuts will be, but Guiao admitted that there's growing concern about the condition of guard Matthew Wright, who is still recovering from a right peroneal tendon strain.
The injury doesn't automatically mean Wright won't make the final 12, but Guiao did say that it's going to affect the team's decision-making over the weekend.
"It's not serious, but the concern is he is losing days. He hasn't practiced in a couple of days," rued Guiao. "Of course he was in good shape before that, but if you stop three or four or five days, that will have a huge effect on your conditioning.
"He's trying his best to get back so his chances of making the team are not diminished, but we can't help but be concerned about it."
Wright, meanwhile, said he's undergoing strengthening exercises in order to hasten his recovery.
"I still feel like I have to come to practice to be part of the group so I don't miss anything if we have new plays or anything like that," he said.
"I'll see how Thursday night goes and I'll make my decision from there."
Gilas Pilipinas started practice early in the afternoon and wrapped up their session at 6 p.m. Only CJ Perez was absent from the 15-man pool.
"It's been a hectic day starting from lunch time until evening, so it's a lot of work. But I think they are enjoying themselves. I think it makes it a lot easier," said Guiao.
Guiao also bared that June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy have been doing extra work to catch up on the team's progress since the trio have missed most of their build-up due to the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals.
"They were a bit lost yesterday. It's a little bit better today. Tomorrow, we will do the same thing and they'll probably have memorized the plays so they can join the regular practices," explained Guiao.
"We need to isolate them a little bit more and give them extra time so they can catch up. They're really catching up and they're really willing to do extra work," he closed.