PBA vows continued support for Gilas Pilipinas program beyond Fiba World Cup
MANILA, Philippines —PBA promises to continue supporting Gilas Pilipinas even after the Fiba World Cup 2023 in Manila from August 25 to September 10.
The league reiterated its support of the Philippine men’s basketball team program for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China next month and if it will qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“We will keep on supporting Gilas. We will address whatever our national team needs,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial in Filipino.
The PBA has yet to discuss the plans of Gilas coach Chot Reyes if he will retain the current pool for World Cup in the Asian Games from September 23 to October 8 with naturalized player Justin Brownlee being the lone shoo-in for the 19th edition of the continental meet.
“I don’t know yet who will be the players for [Asiad] if it is still the current Gilas for World Cup or it will be a new one,” Marcial said. “The PBA will help whatever coach Chot needs.”
The Philippines is eyeing to surpass its fifth-place finish in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia when Jordan Clarkson and the core of the Rain or Shine under coach Yeng Guiao represented the country.
PBA has been rallying behind Gilas Pilipinas for the upcoming historic hosting of the country for the Fiba World Cup as the local league moved the opener of Season 48 to October to also give way to the Asian Games.
Gilas Pilipinas seeks to reach the next round of the World Cup when it battles Dominican Republic on August 25 at Philippine Arena and against Angola on the 27th and Italy on the 29th at Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Philippines will also get a chance to book an outright berth to the Olympics for the first time since the 1972 edition in Munich, Germany if it finishes as the top Asian country in the World Cup.
“I think the board will agree to continue supporting the team in the World Cup and even if it will qualify for the Olympics. That’s the dream of the Filipinos to reach the Olympics. We will definitely support the national team,” Marcial said.