Five overseas meets up for Smart Gilas 2By June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Five international tournaments have been scheduled for the national team Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is preparing for the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship, which stakes three slots in the Fiba World Championship two years from now in Spain.
The composition of what will be known as Smart Gilas Pilipinas 2 will be announced after the national coach is chosen late next month from among Talk ‘N Text coach Chot Reyes, Meralco’s Ryan Gregorio, Ateneo’s Norman Black and Meralco consultant Jong Uichico.
The core of the team will come from Sinag Pilipinas, which bagged the Southeast Asian Games gold in Indonesia last year, with the rest coming from a 16-man pool offered by the Philippine Basketball Association that may include former Smart Gilas 1 mainstays.
Smart Gilas operations manager Butch Antonio announced these details yesterday after a recent meeting with the pool of coaches.
“We’re fixing the details of the program before we present them to MVP (SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan) and the rest of the Smart Gilas management team,” said Antonio.
Among the standouts of the Smart Gilas 1 were naturalized player Marcus Douthit, JV Casio, Chris Lutz, Marcio Lassiter and Mac Baracael.
First up for the Nationals is the Southeast Asian Basketball Association tournament in April, which is the qualifier for the Fiba Asia Champions Cup in June in Lebanon.
Another Seaba tournament will be in the schedule of Smart Gilas 2 a month after the Champions Cup, where the winner advances to the Fiba Asia Stankovic Cup in Tokyo in September.
Antonio said Smart Gilas 2 will also see action in the William Jones Cup in Taipei a month before the Stankovic Cup, where some of the countries set to compete in the 2013 Asian championship are expected to show up.
Meanwhile, PBA commissioner Chito Salud and Coca-Cola Bottlers Inc. chair-CEO William Schultz met yesterday at the PBA office and discussed the rumored sale of the beverage company’s franchise to San Miguel Corp.
Salud said he would first notify the PBA board of governors of what happened during the meeting before revealing details to the media.