SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios is the first one to admit that having Gilas Pilipinas play as guest team in the season-ending PBA Governors’ Cup is easier said than done as he knows it needs to be studied thoroughly by the league’s Board of Governors before getting its approval.
Barrios brought up the idea during the first formal practice of the national team Monday night as it prepares for its coming campaign in both the FIBA-World Cup in Spain and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
But as a former PBA commissioner himself, Barrios knows the intricacies of allowing Gilas to compete in the third conference especially for teams which have several players included in the 17-man national pool.
“The challenge is how, assuming na ganun na nga ang mangyayari, to make it a level playing field,” said Barrios in a talk with Spin.ph.
“Kasi like Rain or Shine halimbawa, apat ang mawawala, Talk ‘N Text, apat ang mawawala. Kung ikaw si Norman Black or si Yeng Guiao, paano na ako?”
The matter had already been raised before the PBA board on Thursday during its regular meeting through current chairman Ramon Segismundo.
Commissioner Chito Salud said the proposal -- which has been discussed both informally and formally in the past -- will definitely be revisited by the board, recognizing the need for Gilas Pilipinas to have a good preparation for its bid in the World Cup to be held from August 30 to September 14 and the Asiad set September 19-October 4.
While a stint by the national team in the Governors Cup could be beneficial for its two major international campaigns, Barrios said the absence of the league’s stars may also hurt the competitive balance of the pro league.
In the past, the PBA had lent its players for national team’s cause, but following an unsuccessful international stints, the league’s crowd attendance usually suffers a beating at the gates.
But with Gilas Pilipinas and even the PBA gaining prominence of late, Barrios said the competitive balance during the season’s final conference should still be addressed to maintain the popularity of the league.
“Kailangan na may formula tayo like siguro handicapping, maybe add another import, something like that. Kapag na-figure-out nila commissioner Chito at ng board ‘yung magandang formula na magiging attractive pa rin sa mga fans, the interest sa buong tournament will be maintained,” said Barrios.