SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios understands where Fil-Ams Greg Slaughter and Marcio Lassiter are coming and stressed the decision of both players to decline the invitation to be included in the Gilas Pilipinas pool should not taken against them.
“Individual right 'yun so we just have to accept it,” said Barrios, reiterating the SBP would rather "not comment" on a controversy that has turned into national issue after a member of Congress bared plans to conduct an inquiry into the "unpatriotic act."
Both Slaughter and Lassiter passed the opportunity to become part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool bound for the Fiba-World Cup in Spain and Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, saying the original 12 men that finished runner-up in the Fiba-Asia championships last year deserve to go to both major international tournaments.
Slaughter and Lassiter are five of the new faces coach Chot Reyes included in the Gilas pool along with Paul Lee, Beau Belga, and Jared Dillinger.
Barrios said he’s not concerned that other players would cite the same reason made by Slaughter and Lassiter in declining the Gilas invitation.
“Mababahala ako personally kung marami ang ganun,” said Barrios. “Palagay ko hindi naman nakararami `yung ganun.”
In the wake of the controversy, Barrios said he could only second guess if coach Chot Reyes would still be inviting other players who are potential members of the national pool.
“That’s up to coach Chot. Nasa kanya yung authority e. Kami sa management we can only give our inputs, but its really up to him. We’ll sink or swim with his team. I’m sure pinag-iisipan niya lahat 'yun.”