GILAS Pilipinas carried an optimistic disposition as it opened camp for the FIBA World Cup amid the usual lack-of-abled-bodies issue.

Ten pool members reported for duty in the Independence Day session — about half of the roster that was even further reduced to 20 with Carl Tamayo begging off — but it was business for Gilas.

“We’re all very positive. The players understand the mission,” said coach Chot Reyes.

“We made it very clear that the number one requirement for this is commitment; they have to be willing to come here even without the assurance that they’ll make it to the final lineup and go through this,” he added.

Mr. Reyes and his staff have set training at Meralco Gym for the week before the group checks in at Inspire Academy in Laguna for a four-day stay-in camp. On June 22, the Gilas pool will fly to Estonia for the European workouts and tuneup matches.

A number of the WC team candidates are currently nursing or recovering from injuries like RR Pogoy, Ray Parks, Jr., Calvin Oftana, Carl Tamayo and Jordan Heading.

Mr. Tamayo, who is bothered by a knee injury, has already pulled himself out of consideration for the Gilas 12.

“He doesn’t think he’s going to be fully healthy for the entire process,” Mr. Reyes said of the 6-foot-7 frontliner.

“His MRI doesn’t show any significant injury but I think he needs to get some work done on his knee and get some PRP (platelet-rich plasma treatment) next week. It’s going to take another week pa before it is strong enough to work out. By that time, it will be too late for Lithuania (camp and friendlies).”

The good news is that Japeth Aguilar is back in harness and June Mar Fajardo has been cleared for practice. The two were among the early birds in the WC camp, along with AJ Edu, Thirdy and Kiefer Ravena, Chris Newsome, Poy Erram, Rhenz Abando, CJ Perez and Ange Kouame.

Scottie Thompson was sick and was excused from the session while Justin Brownlee, Jamie Malonzo and Dwight Ramos are still overseas.

“What else is new?” Mr. Reyes said of the manpower troubles. “That is the reality of Philippine basketball. I think it’s the reality of all national teams worldwide.”

“We are on a, best way to put it, crammed schedule. The reality is injuries are a part of it and the other guys have extended stays when they went back to the US. As usual, we have to make do with the cards that are dealt to us.” — Olmin Leyba