PBA chief Chito Narvasa insists no conflict between league and SBP, support remains to national cause
PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa says the pro league remains in full support of the national team cause. Jerome Ascano

PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa insisted the league remains in a good working relationship with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, keeping its support to Gilas Pilipinas despite SBP set to revert to the original national team program of having amateur stars leading the team.

The International Basketball Association is set to change its format for international competitions, shifting to a home-and-away scenario that will see the schedule be in conflict with the pro league, marking the end of pro cagers donning the country's colors.

But Narvasa hinted the PBA will still support the national cause.

“If you would think that there is a perceived conflict between PBA and SBP, there is none,” Naravasa said during Gilas’ sendoff press conference on Wednesday. “What is on the table is just a matter of schedule. We’re aware of the programs and they’re aware of our schedule, so it’s just a matter of sitting down and discussing how to proceed.”

“There are many options on the table right now and I’ve very sure that in the spirit of cooperation and the spirit of the love of basketball, I think it will be easy once we sit down,” he added.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios reiterated the decision to revert to the original national program was borne out of necessity.

“Obviously, the PBA cannot disrupt their calendar four times a year,” the SMB executive said. “We have to field a competitive national team in international competition, but we don’t want to just pick up players from the sidewalk.”

“Having said that, the PBA and SBP will sit down and see how we can work together with the end in view of fielding the best Filipino players,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos