Gilas stint still possible for PBA players as new FIBA competition format starts to shape up
FIBA executives Patrick Koller and Predrag Bogosavljiev during Sunday's press briefing detailing the new competition format for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Jaime Campos

CHANCES of PBA players suiting up for future stint with Gilas Pilipinas remains a strong possibility as the new FIBA competition format for the 2019 World Cup slowing shapes up.

FIBA sport and competitions director Predrag Bogosavljiev said nations can change players during the window periods during the home-and-away qualifying format for the world championship slated to be held in China.

Bogosavljiev said countries will be fielding players from a 24-man pool each team will submit to FIBA before each window in the new qualifiers for basketball patterned after football’s qualification system for its World Cup.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is mulling to send a cadet squad for the home-and-away qualifiers, aware the PBA will have a hard time disrupting its schedule for the series of qualifications to be held.

But with FIBA officials detailing how the new format will run, it appears chances of having a mixture of professionals and cadet players making up the Gilas team is possible, with the 24-man pool expected on call anytime during the window periods.

The window periods, which hold home-and-away qualification matches, will come November 2017, February 2018, June 2018, September 2018, November 2018, and February 2019.

“Actually, for every single game, you can have different players. This is part of the system,” said Bogosavljiev.

Bogosavljiev stressed, under the new system, each nation will also be able to submit 24 different members of the pool under each window.

“We really want to open the possibilities for each federation, but we have to keep control. Each federation will be able to submit a list of 24 which could change for each window,” said Bogosavljiev.

Under the new format, 16 teams from Division 1 will be divided into four groups, the top three teams from each advancing to the next round where two new groups will be formed.

The top three teams from each group qualify for the FIBA World Cup.


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