PSC head: Gilas must play in SEA Games

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TEAM USA always brings a stellar cast of NBA players in the Olympics even if winning the gold medal is almost a sure thing.

Why can’t the Philippines do the same with the Gilas team in the Southeast Asian Games?

Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia issued this challenge to basketball officials yesterday, several days after the Philippine Basketball Association declined to send its best players to the Burma (Myanmar) Southeast Asian Games in December.

“The United States sends no less than an NBA selection to the Olympics,” said Garcia. “They will not accept a second team or any other team to the Olympics.

“The SEA Games is basically our Olympics. This is one tournament that we are No. 1 in the sport.”

PBA commissioner Chito Salud said the pro league would be in the middle of the Philippine Cup conference during the Dec. 11 to 22 tournament in Naypyidaw and offered instead to support the formation of a younger national team.

“In the Asian Games, we need to beat China and Iran,” said Garcia. “As for the Olympics, we cannot even qualify. Hopefully one day we will.”

The Philippines has won the basketball gold in every edition of the biennial regional Games since 1977, except in 1989 in Kuala Lumpur, where it placed second to the host nation.

A core team of college and amateur standouts is usually fielded in the SEA Games and still gets the job done.

“What’s the difference if we send the best team (to the SEA Games)? What’s the difference if we want to be sure?” said Garcia. “We’re applying a criteria to other sports that they have to send their best athletes. We’re not going to change the criteria for basketball.

Garcia added: “I’m just putting this as a challenge to the (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas). If sending PBA players isn’t possible, that’s beyond me. They (SBP officials) will be accountable for the performance of the team anyway.”

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas forms the national team with the PBA lending its best players to Gilas Pilipinas.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Andrew Dickson Lao

    do not listen to those do not know how to handle sports teams politics get out of the picture our government does not support sports development they want money

  • andy s. galvez

    oh my … sea games is a glamorized barangay level sports event. Ayun pa kay Mr. Mike Keon, one of the, if not the best sport leader we had.

  • andy s. galvez

    Oh my … sea games is a glamorized barangay sports event. Ayun pa kay Mr. Mike Keon, one of the, if not the best, sport leader we had.

  • Yxon

    this is a decision of a do nothing sports head. this will be setback to basketball development…a younger team would gain more in experience if fielded in the SEA games and are capable to defeat the field.

  • Nikko Dave S. Francisco

    Kahit nga di na magpadala dyan eh. Mas okay na yun nagpa-practice na lang sila dun sa Europe. Kahit highschool team, kaya talunin ang mga yan, ano pa ba gusto mo patunayan para i-compare sa Team USA. Malamang, Olympics na yun eh. Fallacy on your logic.

  • ching

    mas maganda wag na magpadala ng team sayang lang pera na gagastusin sa delegation, wala namang experience na nakukuha ang philippine basketball players sa sea games dahil masyado mahina ang competition dyan, gamitin nalang ang pera sa pang training ng iba pang players possibly a team B

  • anton cano

    our d-league can whipped the ashes of sea games contender

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