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PBA teams open to lending players to Gilas in Olympic qualifiers

Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (Philstar.com) - October 13, 2015 - 3:03am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Basketball Association has committed full support to Gilas Pilipinas as it vies in one of the three Olympic world qualifiers in July, next year.

The PBA board of governors convenes in a special meeting at noon Wednesday to look at the best way possible to help Team Phl in its campaign in the Olympic wild card play.

The goal is a decent, fighting showing, if not topping the tough event which is the last route for all the wildcard participants to make the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has until Sunday to make the decision on its participation or non-participation in the tourney. The SBP is likely to face sanction from the International Basketball Federation should the local cage body forego participation in the meet.

Aware of this issue, the PBA board called a special meeting.

“Yes, we’re open to lending Gilas Pilipinas the players they want and we’re giving them the time to prepare for the Olympic qualifier,” said board chairman Robert Non.

Non said they have relayed their position to the SBP through Al Panlilio, a top MVP Group executive who sits on the PBA board representing the Meralco Bolts ball club.

The PBA board chair is suggesting the same training period allotted to the Chot Reyes-mentored Phl team to the 2007 Tokushima FIBA Asia event.

“They can start Monday practices in November then they can have the month of June as a full month of training for the July tournament. The PBA will reschedule its third conference after the Olympic world qualifier,” said Non.

“As for the players, I suggest that they name the 12 players now then name five alternates that they can tap in case of injuries,” Non also said. “That way, the players would be spared of a tryout process, wherein kakaba-kaba sila, lulusot ba ko dito?”

Needless to say, Non is amenable to making all PBA players available to Team Phl, not just the players that played for Gilas in the recent FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha.

At the same time, Non batted for the revival of the cadet program for the country’s long-term goal.

Earlier, SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan said they would not compete in the Olympic world qualifier if not given players and training time by the pro league.

Coach Tab Baldwin, meanwhile, expressed a desire for a stable pool of players for Gilas.

“The important thing for me is that the team continues to play close to its potential each time we assemble and continues to improve, as a unit, over the long term,” said Baldwin. “Of course, this can only be expected if we are to have reasonable stability in our roster selection.”

ACIRC AL PANLILIO ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP CHOT REYES COACH TAB BALDWIN GILAS PILIPINAS INTERNATIONAL BASKETBALL FEDERATION MANNY V MERALCO BOLTS PLAYERS TEAM PHL
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