PBA tweaks schedule to let TNT players to join Gilas Pilipinas
MANILA, Philippines—The PBA will officially resume on February 11 but it will have minor tweaks on its schedule to allow players from TNT to join Gilas Pilipinas.
League Chairman Ricky Vargas said the Tropang Giga will have more games earlier into the resumption of the 2021-22 Governors’ Cup so its players can go to Lipa City and join the national team in its preparation for the February window of the 2023 Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers.
“I’m very pleased to say that the PBA will once again adjust its schedule to allow players from TNT to play with Gilas during not only the window but also during the practice,” said Vargas in a virtual press conference Friday.
Chot Reyes, who was appointed to replace Tab Baldwin as Gilas head coach, is planning to use his TNT roster to augment the national team after five of its players—Isaac Go, Allyn Bulanadi, Mike Nieto, Matt Nieto, and Rey Suerte—left for the PBA.
Another change in the PBA schedule is its switch of venue from Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao to Ynares Center in Antipolo during the duration of the Asia Cup Qualifiers.
League Commissioner Willie Marcial said the PBA going to Antipolo was done as not to disrupt its schedule while the Asia Cup Qualifiers are held at the Big Dome from Febuary 24 to 28.
Vargas also hoped that fans could be once again allowed inside PBA games after that arrangement was cut due to Metro Manila being placed under Alert Level 3.
Fans were already welcomed at Smart Araneta Coliseum in December before the PBA went into break during the holidays.
“PBA basketball is back and when it starts on Feb. 11 after a week, or even earlier, I hope we can invite fans back in and that they be allowed to watch,” said Vargas.