Matt Nieto, Dave Ildefonso injured; to miss FIBA Asia qualifiers and OQT


Posted at Jun 06 2021 04:54 PM

Matt Nieto, Dave Ildefonso injured; to miss FIBA Asia qualifiers and OQT 1
Matt Nieto and Dave Ildefonso. Photo courtesy of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

MANILA, Philippines -- Gilas Pilipinas will be without Matt Nieto and Dave Ildefonso in the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Both players have suffered injuries that will keep them from joining the national team in Clark, Pampanga and in Belgrade, Serbia.

According to Gilas Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin, Nieto will be out for most of June until July due to a broken hand.

"We hope to have him back by the FIBA Asia Cup," he said.

Nieto injured his hand in a freak accident, as it was caught on a teammate's jersey. The former Ateneo floor general initially thought he just needed rest, but it became apparent that the injury was more serious.

Ildefonso, meanwhile, is dealing with a deep bone bruise, according to Baldwin. It was initially suspected to be a stress fracture but they were able to get a second opinion on the injury.

"He (Ildefonso) is going to take June to rehab that and we expect him to come back to the pool in July," said Baldwin.

The Philippines will compete in two FIBA events this month: the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers from June 16 to 20 and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia from June 29 to July 4. 

Nieto has played all three games for the Gilas Pilipinas men's team in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers. He had two points and six assists off the bench in a 100-70 win over Indonesia in February 2020. He then averaged eight points and four assists per game in two wins over Thailand last November.

Meanwhile, Ildefonso scored a total of seven points in the November 2020 window.

"We miss both of them. We miss their talent and experience. We miss the fact that they give us chemistry with all the other players," said Baldwin.


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