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    SBP, Chot to identify 'three, four PBA players' for World Cup team

    Feb 25, 2022
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    DESPITE sudden changes in the Gilas Pilipinas program in the leadup to the February window, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) still intends to pursue its original plan of parading a mix of young stars and PBA stars for the 2023 Fiba World Cup.

    SBP president Al Panlilio admitted he still expects 'three or four' PBA players to reinforce the mainstays in the national team program.

    "I think the program is really to develop the likes of sila Thirdy [Ravena] and Dwight [Ramos] for the World Cup. That's the core of the program that we started. But at the end of the day, we still want to bring the best team out there. I would still see some names maybe from the PBA," he said.

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      Panlilio made it clear, though, that it won't be all be coming from the pro league as he expects some of the top stars overseas, namely Kai Sotto, AJ Edu, and possibly Jordan Clarkson, to still be in consideration for the 12-man roster come August next year.

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      That's why it's one of Panlilio's immediate plans to sit down with coach Chot Reyes after the games against India and New Zealand to pinpoint those who will be in the running for the next set of games in the coming windows and all the tournaments leading up to the World Cup.

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      'Three, four names' from PBA

      "We’d still have to identify with Chot three, four names maybe from the PBA. I don’t know exact number but we’d like to mix them with some of the important players we’re still lacking," he said.

      The SBP, Panlilio added, is also in communication with the collegiate leagues in terms of allowing other varsity players like Justine Baltazar of La Salle and Carl Tamayo of the University of the Philippines to once again beef up the national team pool.

      "Butch Antonio spoked to [UP] coach Goldwin [Monteverde], coach Derrick [Pumaren], even Quinito [Henson] for La Salle and Gov. [Jonvic] Remulla for UP," the Smart top honcho said.

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        "So they’re all very supportive that those players will still be part of the program except this window lang and then excused na sila, which we appreciate and understand. That’s why TNT had to step in to help out," he said.

        As far as Panlilio is concerned, the coach may have changed but the Gilas program stays the same.

        "The plan is to still push that program of the young players and maybe yes, some combination of PBA players," he said.

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