The plan to give the Gilas-Pilipinas squad the time it needs to prepare hard and long for the Fiba-Asia championship in August continued to gather steam with several members of the PBA’s board of governors amenable to a drastic change in the Governors’ Cup.
The board members concluded their three-day, working tour of Singapore late Friday night after discussing a plan for a virtual overhaul of the season-ending tournament to give national coach Chot Reyes at least three months to whip the team into competitive form.
Commissioner Chito Salud also expressed optimism that the entire league will throw its full support in the plan to move the opening of the Governors’ Cup until after the Fiba-Asia World Basketball Championship qualifying in August 11.
“There are many scenarios being studied and considered,” Salud said. “I am confident that the final arrangement to be arrived at will be designed primarily to permit our national team to train and jell sufficiently.
“Obviously, national interest will be the main consideration in this case.”
Several team representatives, like Richard Bachmann of Alaska, Lito Alvarez of Air21, Manny Alvarez of Barako Bull, and Mamerto Mondragon of Rain or Shine have said that they are in favor of that scheme.
Obviously, the camp of Manny V. Pangilinan, which owns Talk ‘N Text and Meralco, won’t have a problem with that setup.
Robert Non of Barangay Ginebra, who is also the current chair of the board, said that he is confident that a consensus will be arrived at in a few days.
Reyes has yet to name the members of his team, which will battle the best of Asia in Manila starting in Aug. 1 with the aim of finishing at least in third spot to make the World Championship slated in Madrid next year.
The Fiba-Asia event, which will play most of its games at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, will mark the first time in 40 years that the Philippines will host a tournament of such magnitude.
In 1973, a Philippine team built around legendary personalities as Bogs Adornado and Robert Jaworski ruled the Asian Basketball Confederation championship in Manila.
The ABC is the forerunner of the Fiba-Asia.