Back as Gilas coach, Chot tells cadets: Join PBA draft | Inquirer Sports

Back as Gilas coach, Chot tells cadets: Join PBA draft

/ 05:16 PM October 18, 2016

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In one of his first moves after being reinstalled Gilas Pilipinas coach, Chot Reyes said he is requiring all members of Gilas Pilipinas 5.0 pool to enter the PBA.

Named the national team mentor once again Tuesday, Reyes said that it’s his commitment to the PBA to ensure all amateurs will be part of the league, putting an end to speculation as to how this year’s draft will look like.


“I will have to tell you now that the first part of my program of prepping for Fiba competition is to make sure that the players are in the PBA,” Reyes said in a special Samahang Basketobol ng Pilipinas meeting attended by the 12 Gilas cadets. “You’re all part of the Gilas program, and you’re all going to be part of the PBA draft.”


Reyes said in the meeting posted live on Facebook: “My commitment to the PBA is every player who puts on the Gilas jersey is going to be part of the PBA draft.”

Gilas guard Almond Vosotros is already with Blackwater after being drafted last year.

As of Monday, only Ed Daquioag and Carl Bryan Cruz have filed their applications for the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft.

The current Gilas pool members, which includes Mac Belo, Jiovani Jalalon, Kevin Ferrer, Mike Tolomia, Roger Pogoy, Russel Escoto, Von Pessumal, and Arnold Van Opstal, are expected to follow suit.

Filipino-Canadian guard Matthew Wright, who is part of the current Gilas squad, can only be eligible for the 2017 Draft at the earliest.

PBA rules state that any amateur hopeful must play for the national team or at least play seven games each in two conferences in the PBA D-League to be eligible for the Draft.


Reyes said that the 12 men can be pulled from their mother ballclubs for at least two months before the Fiba competition windows to prepare for the games.

“For me, part of the training is that we have a group of players playing in the PBA. When we need them, we’re pulling you out early, 30 days, 60 days, to train for Gilas,” Reyes said. “So mahirap yung trabaho ninyo. Magti-train at magpre-prepare kayo for Gilas at maglalaro kayo sa teams ninyo. Kapag kailangan kayo, ipu-pull out kayo at babalik na naman kayo sa Gilas (Your job is going to be difficult. You will train with Gilas and play with your PBA teams. If we need you, we will pull you out of your PBA teams and you will rejoin Gilas).”

Before the order from Reyes, this year’s Draft hung in the balance with the SBP planning to revert to the original cadet program of the national basketball federation. That meant the top amateurs would have skipped turning pro to commit to the national team.

The last time the program went that direction, the team included the likes of current Rain or Shine guard Chris Tiu. The former Ateneo star and his Gilas teammates initially passed up on the PBA Draft to focus on the national team until the cadet program was shelved to field an all-PBA squad for the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship here in Manila.

Given the new format now implemented by Fiba, Reyes said the best route to take will be reinforcing the current cadet team with veteran PBA professionals.

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“The plan is to form a pool of 24 players that includes the cadets and other PBA players,” Reyes later told the Inquirer after Tuesday’s meeting. —With a report from Musong R. Castillo

TAGS: Gilas Pilipinas, PBA, players, READ

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