Guiao: Castro's status for World Cup hanging in the balance

There's a chance Jayson Castro may not play in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, Gilas Gilipinas coach Yeng Guiao said after the team wrapped up its first official practice on Monday at the Meralco Gym.

Castro asked to be excused for the day. Guiao said they are concerned with Castro's situation.

"We're just going to finalize his status. He has personal priorities so we will finalize that within the week if he's going to be staying with the team or taking a break," Guiao said.

Asked on what the personal issues were, Guiao said Castro is "the only guy who can answer that."

"He has served the national team for so long now. I don't think we can say anything against him thinking about taking a break," said Guiao.

Castro, who got married last Saturday, will definitely leave a huge void for Gilas if he takes a break from national team duties. But Guiao is confident the younger players can step up.

"Of course (he's a big loss). But to me, we have a deep talent pool. And it's also time for the next generation to be given the chance. Also next week, Kiefer Ravena can practice. He's one of the guys we're looking to take up the place of Jayson," he said.

Only eight players showed up to the first practice Monday: June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Marcio Lassiter, Raymond Almazan, Roger Pogoy, Gabe Norwood, Mark Barroca and Troy Rosario.