GILAS Pilipinas' first day of training camp for the Fiba World Cup Qualifiers will be held behind closed doors amid a simmering feud between rival factions in the PBA board.
National coach Chot Reyes said no Gilas player or coach will grant an interview on Friday when they return to practice at the Meralco Gym, months after placing seventh in the Fiba Asia Cup in Lebanon.
Majority of Gilas' players come from the PBA.
"No Gilas player/coach will grant any interview in d meantime. I hope you understand," said Reyes in a tweet on Friday.
His Twitter post came just hours after a group in the PBA board assured the availability of their players for the Gilas campaign despite a feud with the bloc led by teams under the MVP umbrella over Chito Narvasa's continued stint as commissioner.
Reyes, however, was silent on the composition of his pool for the first two Gilas qualifying games away to Japan on Nov. 24 and at home against Chinese-Taipei three days later.
On Friday, top Gilas patron Manny V. Pangilinan also issued a call to have the best players available for the qualifiers.
“We are hoping that the best of the best players in the country will join Gilas for this tournament,” said Pangilinan in a statement. “We are calling for the support of every club team and every collegiate program to support this endeavor.”
Pangilinan also expressed confidence that the team can clinch a return to the World Cup after a historic appearance in the 2014 showpiece in Seville, Spain.
“Every tournament we joined this year was done in preparation for this tournament,” Pangilinan said. “Though the new Fiba format for qualification is different from past editions, we are confident that we will adjust to this and return to the global stage once more.” - With reports from Christian Jacinto