Smart Gilas gets practice time for Fiba Asia with shortened PBA Governor’s Cup

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SMART Gilas-Pilipinas’ tower of power Marcus Douthit. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – With players tied up with responsibilities to their mother teams, time has always been an issue when it comes to the national team.

But the PBA is willing to give way and tweak its schedule to give Smart Gilas Pilipinas ample time to prepare for the Fiba-Asia Championships in August, which the country will also host.

Starting with making the PBA Governors’ Cup conference, which was originally scheduled from May 12 until July 28, even shorter than it already is.

“The schedule was already compressed by the PBA after consultation with the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) and national team leaders (before),” Salud explained. But now it turns out that the Fiba-Asia tournament will start in August 1 and our July 28 ending will seem to be impractical.”

“We will shorten the third conference,” said Salud, also saying that it’s impossible to shorten the upcoming second conference, which starts on February 8.

“It’s out of the question. We’ve already contracted venues and already come out with the schedule,” said Salud.

When it comes to the training camp, Salud plans to talk to national head coach Chot Reyes to iron out the details regarding the regular practice dates – especially when the PBA season is on-going.

Salud also wants to know Reyes’ plans for the team when it comes to international competitions as part of the build up for the Nationals.

“I have been given authority by the board to sit down with (Reyes) to tresh out the final schedule of practices,” said Salud. “He will choose within the parameters and the guidelines that have been laid down by the board of governors as per the instructions of the team owners.”

“I want to know which tournaments he wants to join and see if it is viable and feasible as against the revised third conference schedule,” Salud added.

But if a national team player belongs to a team that has been eliminated early in the competition, “that player can practice more regularly,” Salud cleared.

The PBA also proposed each team in the league to lend at least a player to Smart Gilas Pilipinas, in accordance to what the national team needs

“If there are teams willing to lend more than one player, go ahead. And if in the judgement of the coach of the national team that he doesn’t need any player from any team, then so be it.”

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