Chot Reyes looking to play Gilas cadets in SEA Games, PBA veterans in Fiba Asia Cup
Japeth Aguilar and other Gilas veterans are set to be tapped for the Fiba Asia Cup while a team of Gilas cadets is set to be fielded in the SEA Games. Jerome Ascano

GILAS coach Chot Reyes gave both the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and PBA an outlook on how to go about the timeline of a rather hectic schedule for the national team for the rest of the year.

Reyes sat down with SBP president Al Panlilio and PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa on Thursday to detail out Gilas’ coming calendar of events – including the Fiba World Cup qualifier starting this November – majority of them are expected to clash with the schedule of games of the season-ending Governors Cup.

Panlilio, also a member of the league board representing Meralco, said he and Narvasa will present to the board the detailed plan Reyes has laid out to ensure there will be no further disruption while the final conference of the season is ongoing vis-à-vis the Gilas training and overseas campaign.

The SBP president described the morning meeting as productive and very good, stressing he doesn’t see any trouble convincing his fellow board member to adjust the league schedule as all of them are on the same page.

“We will continue to work with the PBA on the calendar, but I don’t see an issue as we (SBP and PBA) are both clear on the objective of reaching the Olympics in 2020 where the Fiba World Cup plays a huge role,” said Panlilio.

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The grind begins for Gilas shortly after the semis of the Commissioner’s Cup as it trains for the coming Fiba Asia Cup and the Southeast Asian Games, which will be held almost simultaneously this August in Lebanon and Malaysia, respectively.

If the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) will be followed, PBA veterans – or at least a mix of them – are headed for the Fiba Asia Cup to battle against the region’s best basketball powers such as China, Iran, South Korea, Lebanon, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Japan, among others, while members of the Gilas cadets will be bound for the Kuala Lumpur Games, where the country is the defending champion in men’s basketball.

"You have to consider yung level of competition," said Panlilio in an earlier interview.

Also in the radar of the team is the annual Jones Cup in Taiwan which is set to start on July 29.

But the most significant of the tournaments is the qualifier for the Fiba World Cup in China to be played in a home-and-away format consisting of six windows each. The top seven teams from Asia will earn spots to the 2019 World Cup in China.


“We will continue to work on how to prepare for the tournaments we need to participate in this journey,” stressed Panlilio.

The SBP president said the scheduling problem isn’t just confined to the PBA as all major leagues around the world are also adjusting to the new Fiba calendar.

“Kasi may impact all over. So kailangan lang maintindihan yung impact na yun and how we can adjust,” said Panlilio.

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