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Guiao concerned as Wright, Erram sit out tune-up: 'We need to see them play'

Guiao concerned as Wright, Erram sit out tune-up: 'We need to see them play'

MANILA, Philippines—Although minor, the injuries of Matthew Wright and Poy Erram are still a cause of concern for Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao with the Fiba World Cup fast approaching.

Wright, who is nursing a right peroneal tendon sprain, and Erram, who rolled his right ankle Monday, sat out the first tune-up game against Adelaide 36ers on Friday and are likely to miss Sunday’s action too.

“It’s a little bit concerning,” said Guiao. “Their injuries aren’t serious but the problem is this is the time we need to see them play.”

After the Australian club friendlies, Guiao and Gilas Pilipinas will be focusing on finetuning their game before they off for China for the 2019 Fiba World Cup.

Marcio Lassiter, meanwhile, has been officially ruled out of the world meet.

Lassiter suffered a sprain on his medial collateral ligament in his left knee back in the quarterfinals of the Commissioner’s Cup, taking him out of action for at least six weeks.

Guiao said Lassiter “felt so bad” because of the injury. “He really wants to play in the World Cup.”

Guiao, though, still has a silver lining in the return of Kiefer Ravena, who has reached the end of his Fiba 18-month doping ban.

Ravena, who tested positive for prohibited substances under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s regulations, will join Gilas on Sunday and Guiao has little doubt in his players’ capabilities.

“Kiefer is always with us during practice and he’s mentally strong, he has a high basketball IQ and I think he’ll look to find his place in the first few minutes but he’ll get his game back,” said Guiao. “I have confidence that he can do that.”