Cadets for Asia tilt
With the PBA Governors’ Cup to open on July 19 and the Fiba Asia Championship to run smack into the meat of its elimination round schedule, Gilas Pilipinas could be sending Cadets to the regional event set in Beirut from Aug. 8 to 20.
A separate source confirms an earlier Inquirer report that said pro teams are not likely to lend their franchise players—who were named to coach Chot Reyes’ 24-man pool—to Gilas 5.0 that will try to regain Asian supremacy in less than six weeks.
Instead, the lineup that Reyes will play in the Jones Cup Invitational in Chinese Taipei starting this weekend would most likely be the same squad that could battle Australia, New Zealand, Iran and defending champion China in Lebanon.
Andray Blatche will be the naturalized player for Gilas in Beirut, as he takes the place of Mike Myers, who will play as an import in Chinese Taipei.
“The teams would likely be not compelled to lend their players,” the source, who spoke on condition that he not be identified, said. “It will be up to the teams to give Gilas the players if it’s OK with them.”
The PBA had earlier committed to lending its best to the national team program, but with the Fiba Asia not included in the hectic World Cup qualifying process, some of the member teams feel that it is an exercise in futility to disrupt their respective teams during the course of a conference.
But, to show that it is truly supportive of the Gilas program, the PBA has put in motion plans to open the next season late December to be able to accommodate the national team in the home-and-away qualifying starting in November.
And since the current season will end on Oct. 19 at the latest, Reyes would have at least one full month to whip his 24-man pool into razor-sharp form when the Philippines plays Japan in Tokyo and then in Manila.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer, which is seeking to complete just the league’s sixth Grand Slam and the franchise’s second Triple Crown sweep, has dealt rookie Arnold Van Opstal to GlobalPort in exchange for gunner Von Pessumal.
The deal was approved on Monday by the Office of the Commissioner and Van Opstal’s transfer gives him some sort of chance to have playing time since he won’t have a June Mar Fajardo to play behind to with the Batang Pier.
Pessumal, on the other hand, comes into a San Miguel crew that is loaded with so much firepower that he could struggle finding minutes on the floor.