Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar has been cleared to join Gilas Pilipinas just days away from its showdown with Lebanon in Beirut.
The 6’9” Aguilar immediately plunged into the practices at Meralco Gym in Pasig City after he got cleared from COVID-19 on Sunday.
Aguilar takes the place of San Miguel Beer big man June Mar Fajardo, after the 6’10” Beerman and teammate CJ Perez were not allowed to join the Gilas scrimmages.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas earlier said that players from SMB and TNT taking part in the best-of-seven finals series of the 2022 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup will not join Team Philippines in its games in the fourth window.
Aguilar and his family, and other members of his household have gone through isolation over the past week after contracting COVID-19.
A negative PCR test allowed authorities to let Aguilar leave isolation.
Utah Jazz cager Jordan Clarkson and Adelaide 36ers’ player Kai Sotto are already in scrimmages with Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Carl Tamayo, Arvin Tolentino, Scottie Thompson, Chris Newsome, Roosevelt Adams, Jamie Malonzo, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and Dwight Ramos.
The lineup against the Cedars will be announced on Monday, when Gilas leaves for Beirut.
The Philippines has already earned its spot the 2023 World Cup as co-hosts of the event.
Their games in Window 4 will be a way of learning how good Gilas Pilipinas is against its Asian rivals.
The Philippines will get to test the mettle of Zouk Mikael in Lebanon, the Asia Cup 2022 finalists, on August 25.
Then, they return home to clash with Saudi Arabia on August 29 at the Mall of Asia Arena.