‘PBA will lend Chot Reyes players he needs’By Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE PHILIPPINE Basketball Association, through commissioner Chito Salud, will continue to provide the necessary players coach Chot Reyes needs for the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas program.
Salud said that he will invite Reyes to a meeting in the coming days so the coach can identify the players he needs for the team that won the Jones Cup and finished fourth in the Fiba-Asia Cup in Japan last Saturday.
“After [that meeting], I will personally talk to the players [he wants],” said Salud.
Gilas-Pilipinas won the Jones Cup last month by humbling the United States and flew to Tokyo as one of the teams to beat.
But the Filipinos’ outside guns misfired in Japan, leading to blowout losses to eventual champion Iran in the semifinals and to Qatar in the battle for third place.
Reyes then said he would want to have reliable backups to naturalized center Marcus Douthit and power forward Ranidel De Ocampo to strengthen the team.
The adoption of Fiba’s rules on traveling and the use of Fiba’s rims are things that Reyes also wishes implemented in the PBA.
The names of Greg Slaughter of Ateneo, Petron Blaze rookie Jun Mar Fajardo and teammate Arwind Santos and San Mig Coffee’s Marc Pingris were mentioned by Reyes.
Meanwhile, the league’s 38th season comes off the wraps on Sunday with reigning MVP Mark Caguioa leading Barangay Ginebra against newcomer Global Port in the only game scheduled.
Gary David, last season’s PBA Press Corps Scoring Champion, will team up with former two-time MVP Willie Miller for the Batang Pier, which absorbed the nucleus of the defunct Powerade/Coca-Cola squad.
Ginebra also unveils two potentially explosive rookies in Chris Ellis and Keith Jensen, young blood added to the Gin Kings’ aging nucleus.