PBA stars to banner Gilas Pilipinas in Asian Games
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will once again tweak its schedule for the next season for the sake of the national cage program.
Commissioner Willie Marcial on Friday said that the league’s leadership has agreed to loan its standouts to Gilas Pilipinas for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, which will result in the 48th Season opening being moved to October.
“Chot [Reyes] and I talked and he mentioned that he intends to utilize pros for the Asian Games,” the league chief told the Inquirer right after the Magnolia-Phoenix contest at Mall of Asia Arena Friday night.
“So instead of a September opening, we’ll just kick things off in October after the [Asiad]. The Draft will be held a month before that,” he went on.
The PBA had already shortened its 2023 calendar back in July, deciding to scratch one tournament from its usual three-conference season to accommodate Gilas’ preparations for the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia this May, the Nationals’ projected overseas training camps in United States and Europe for the World Cup, and the global showcase itself in August.
Marcial said that the league is also looking to beg off from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ July plan to pit PBA teams against visiting nations camping in the Philippines ahead of the World Cup.
“Most of the PBA stars are going to be with Gilas anyway and we won’t be having imports by that time. So we’ll just give way and allow fans to watch the National Team play—from what I heard four to six teams—ahead of the main tournament,” he added.