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Sports

SBP considering OQT hosting bid after PBA grants wish

Alder Almo - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines -- With the PBA answering the clamor of outgoing Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Manny V. Pangilinan to assemble the best possible team for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year, the basketball federation is now seriously considering to bid.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios, who is in Abu Dhabi for the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Final, expressed his delight with the PBA's solid backing of the Gilas program for the wildcard qualifiers.

"We are seriously looking at [the Olympic Qualifying Tournament] hosting bid," Barrios told Philstar.com.

On Wednesday, the PBA Board of Governors unanimously agreed to lend and formed an ad hoc committee to make sure all the players named to the 17-man Gilas pool will answer the call of national duty.

Named to what is considered the strongest pool formed after three Gilas incarnations are June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio, Greg Slaughter, Marc Pingris and Ian Sangalang from the SMC bloc; Calvin Abueva from Alaska, Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan from Rain or Shine; Jayson Castro, Matt Rosser-Ganuelas, Ryan Reyes, Troy Rosario and Ranidel De Ocampo from Talk n Text; and Terrence Romeo from GlobalPort.

Also agreed upon during the meeting is that the SBP shall name a final line-up of 12 players to include the naturalized player by the end of January 2016.

The PBA also will adjust its calendar delaying its third conference which will open right after the Olympic Qualifying Tournament slated from July 5-10 next year.

The PBA also allowed selected players to attend practice sessions once a week, specifically every Monday for 28 weeks starting November 2015.

The deadline for the SBP to submit its hosting bid and its participation is on Oct. 19 according to Barrios. 

The SBP will be shelling out a minimum of 1.75 Million Euros or the equivalent of P91.4 Million to host  one of the three qualifiers. 

With a stronger field in the wildcard qualifiers, SBP knows that the national team, even with the strongest possible lineup, will need all the help to earn a shot at returning to the Olympics since the 1972 edition in Munich, Germany.

A homecourt advantage and the crowd will help Gilas a lot in battling the best losing teams from the other FIBA zones. 

The countries that earned the right to play in the Olympic qualifiers are New Zealand from Oceania, Angola, Tunisia and Senegal from Africa, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico from the Americas, France, Serbia, Greece, Italy and the Czech Republic from Europe and the Philippines, Iran and Japan from Asia.

ABU DHABI

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

CALVIN ABUEVA

EUROPE AND THE PHILIPPINES

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SONNY BARRIOS

GABE NORWOOD AND JEFF CHAN

GREG SLAUGHTER

IRAN AND JAPAN

ITALY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC

JAPETH AGUILAR

OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT

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