April 22, 2024

Japeth Aguilar, Mason Amos included in Gilas Pilipinas pool amid recent team injuries

Japeth Aguilar, Mason Amos included in Gilas Pilipinas pool amid recent team injuries
Japeth Aguilar and Mason Amos will be alternates for Gilas Pilipinas amid recent injuries among some of their players. | Photo (c) FIBA

Japeth Aguilar and Mason Amos have been officially added to the Gilas Pilipinas pool as substitutes, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas announced (SBP) on Tuesday.

Aguilar and Amos will join the original 12-player pool, competing for spots in the lineup for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Riga, Latvia, scheduled in July.

Coach Tim Cone expanded the pool due to injuries in the first window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.

"We're excited that Mason [Amos] and Japeth [Aguilar] agreed to be our alternates on Gilas," Cone said in a statement.

"The first window showed us that we were a little thin in our lineup after AJ Edu, June Mar [Fajardo] and Jamie [Malonzo] missed our game vs. Chinese Taipei due to injuries, and we were left with only nine players and only Japeth as a replacement to make 10," he added.

Aguilar and Amos will enhance the long-term Gilas program and serve as backups if needed for the official 12-player team selected by Cone for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Europe.

The two are no strangers to the Gilas program as Aguilar was part of the gold-winning Philippine team in the Hangzhou Asian Games, while Amos is a former Gilas U18 player and likewise played during the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

Placed In Group A, the Philippines will face 6th-ranked Latvia on July 3 and 23rd-ranked Georgia on July 4 in Riga.

The top two teams will proceed to a crossover preliminary round against the top teams from Group B, comprised of Brazil, Cameroon, and Montenegro.

The ultimate winner will secure a berth in the Summer Games scheduled from July 26 to August 11 in Paris.