SBP eager to see Gilas cadets thrive in second window of FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers
A young Gilas squad will represent flag and country in Manama, Bahrain this week for the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers

SBP eager to see Gilas cadets thrive in second window of FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers

Luisa Morales ( - November 25, 2020 - 11:33am

MANILA, Philippines — The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Inc. (SBP) is fielding a batch of young players in the upcoming November window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers later this week in Manama, Bahrain.

But rather than fret about the absence of seasoned professionals in the lineup due to schedule conflicts with the PBA, SBP President Al Panlilio is instead looking at the opportunity for the young guns to receive high-quality experience so early in their careers.

It would be experience that, at least in Panlilio's eyes, will make them battle-ready for the pros once they get back.

"You know sa PBA, pag may rookie sometimes they don't get eough playing time unless yung level mo sila Kiefer," said Panlilio during Tiebreaker Vods' 2OT on Tuesday.

"But these players (Gilas cadets)... [will] have the experience and maturity as players to start in a PBA team," he added.

The basketball executive said that this opportunity for fresh out of college, and even collegiate, stars like Kobe Paras, Dave Ildefonso, Isaac Go, Matt Nieto and others will be key to the development of the players and the level of the sport in the country in general.

"I am excited because it's only gonna level up Philippine basketball with this experience... I'm excited to see who among these players will be there in 2023 and of course to be competing slots with PBA veterans," Panlilio said.

The young Gilas squad will test their mettle against a 10-man Thailand squad twice in the November window on November 27 and again on the 30th.

Panlilio sees this unique but positive experience as a step in the right direction for the long-term plan of the development of the national team.

"We're really looking at this as a long term program for the national team," said Panlilio.

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