THE sanctions slapped by Fiba on Gilas Pilipinas players do not cover the Asian Games and even the PBA.
This was the interpretation of the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP) as the ruling clearly stated that the suspension of games from 10 players and two coaches only covers the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
“It’s very clear,” said SBP president Al Panlilio. “It’s just for the Fiba Basketball World Cup 2019 Asia qualifier games.”
With the penalty looming, there were concerns that the sanctions slapped by Fiba during the brawl that erupted between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia will also cover the PBA particularly because Kiefer Ravena, who were penalized with an 18-month suspension for ingesting a banned substance by World Anti-Doping Agency during the FIba Basketball World Cup, was also not allowed to play in the PBA.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial even hinted the league will appeal to Fiba if the suspensions will cover the PBA.
But Panlilio assured the suspension will not cover the professional league.
“The PBA is not affected. It’s practically the next three windows of the second round. The windows against Iran, Qatar, and Kazakhstan, the home and away game. It’s a total of six games,” said Panlilio.
The Asian Games is the same case, Panlilio said. The SBP president also bared there have already been talks with the PBA about an option of sending a different team for the Asian Games.
“I think again, if you look at the decision, it’s clear that it’s only Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers. But having said that, in fact, even before the sanctions had come out, we spoke with the PBA, they actually talking about it for an Option B if sanctions will happen. There were already discussions with the PBA about Option B,” said Panlilio.