National team coach Chot Reyes said he is excited at the prospect of having flexibility in selecting members of the national team that will do battle with the region’s best in the Fiba Asia tournament in August for a seat in the World Basketball Championship.
The firebrand drillmaster, however, declined to name the members of the national pool until after the PBA comes up with the final format for its season-ending Governors’ Cup.
“To come up with the best team possible, you need the best players,” Reyes said after meeting with PBA commissioner Chito Salud yesterday. “But you need ample time to be able to come up with a great team.
“Our team members will depend largely on the new schedule that commissioner Salud will come up with (for the Governors’ Cup). When we know what schedule we have, what time we have to work with, we’ll be able to name the players.”
Salud briefed Reyes yesterday on the new PBA resolution that allows teams to lend at least one player to the national team.
“We had a very good meeting with our national coach,” Salud said. “We’re working for one cause here. It is now clear which direction he wants to go to.”
Salud said the PBA plans to hold a third conference that would benefit the national five, which will be shooting for one of three continental berths in the World Championship in Madrid in August next year.
Reyes, who has won two international titles since taking over the Smart Gilas-Pilipinas program late last year, said he would meet again with Salud later this week to determine the third-conference schedule.
He planned to come up with the pool “a few days after.”
“On my end, the naming of the lineup is dependent on the final schedule (of the Governors’ Cup),” Reyes said.
He said, though, that members of the Jones Cup, Fiba Asia Cup and Dubai and Hong Kong tournament teams that he handled will all be considered for national service in the Fiba Asia Championship.
The Philippines will battle it out with 15 other teams in the region, including powerhouses China and Iran and perennial contenders South Korea and Lebanon.
The Filipinos were unofficially ranked fifth by Fiba Asia secretary general Hagop Khajarian during a visit here on Monday, saying he based his seeding in past performances of the Philippines since 2007.