Gilas taking wait-and-see approach
With Fiba Asia still yet to finalize its competition schedule next year, Gilas Pilipinas is forced to take a wait-and-see approach as it prepares its next pool of players.
“It’s hard to form the pool if we don’t know the schedule. We still don’t know the FIBA schedule first before we form a plan,” said national team coach Chot Reyes.
The only certain thing for Gilas as of now is the participation of the 12 cadets who all entered the PBA in this past draft.
Reyes also said he’s still awaiting the confirmation from the PBA teams on which players they will lend to the national pool for the international competitions, as agreed upon by the PBA Board of Governors last month.
“We only have the 12 cadets but we still have to have the confirmation for the 12 PBA players. We’re going to make that decision come January,” he said.
Gilas team manager Butch Antonio is also set to attend a Fiba Asia meeting in January, where everything is expected to be ironed out.
The first order of business for the Philippines is the 2017 Seaba Championship, an important tournament for the country’s Olympic aspirations.
“Seaba is the first important tournament for us because that is the qualifying tournament for the Fiba Asia Cup. We can’t take Seaba for granted. If we don’t win it, everything will be worthless,” he said. “Let’s not take things lightly. We know that tournaments we’re joining, but we still don’t know the dates.”
Based on the initial plans, the regional tournament may be held sometime in March or could even go as late as May.
With that window said, Antonio reiterated that the 12 players who were dispersed in the special Gilas round in the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft may be called up by Reyes two months before the start of the tournament.
“Once the date is announced, count 60 days before that, that’s when the cadets start practicing,” he said.
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