PBA: Some teams missing key players at resumption of practice. Find out why

Published August 26, 2020, 5:25 PM

by Waylon Galvez

alaska training
The Alaska Aces begin their scheduled and batch training amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (PBA)

As the 12 PBA teams resumed practice sessions, a few were without key players, notably James Yap and Kris Rosales of Rain or Shine, and Mav Ahanmisi of Alaska.

The three are out of the country — Yap in Italy and Rosales and Ahanmisi in the States. But all three are reportedly on their way back.

Alaska is also without Sonny Thoss, whose status remains uncertain after expressing his intentions to retire at the end of the PBA Philippine Cup, which only had one game after the season was put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March.

“He’s unsure, to be honest,” said Alaska mentor Jeff Cariaso when he appeared on The Chasedown over the weekend on CIGNAL TV’s One PH channel. “He’s unsure on what he wants to do.”

“I would still have to discuss with him and see what his final answer would be. Honestly… it’s still up in the air if he would join if ever we’ll have a conference.”

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Like all the other teams, Alaska returned to ‘small group’ practice last Tuesday at the Gatorade Hoops Gym in Mandaluyong City but without its veteran center.

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Cariaso said he hopes it’s only for the first two weeks.

“We’ll explain to Sonny how things are, but he’s expected not to join. But of course he’s always welcome,” said Cariaso, on his second season with the team after taking over from Alex Compton.

A three-time champion and 12-time All-Star, the 38-year-old Thoss signified his desire to retire, telling Cariaso that the Philippine Cup would be his last with the franchise that selected him fifth overall in 2004 Rookie Draft.

“I asked him to stay (for one season), but he promised just one conference. His presence would help the guys, like Abu (Tratter) and the rookies,” said Cariaso, who once played with Thoss.

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Yap, on the other hand, is coming home Sept. 2, and ROS coach Caloy Garcia said he expects the two-time MVP to be in shape when he joins team practice.

“That’s what I know, pabalik na si James. Nag-uusap naman kami, sabi niya nakakapag-workout naman siya. So same with Kris Rosales, we expect them to be ready when they return.”

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