PBA admits it has yet to be informed by SBP about revival of original Gilas program
Russell Escoto, Kevin Ferrer, Kiefer Ravena, and Mac Belo are among the amateur standouts eyed to form part of the new Gilas pool.

THE PBA board has received no word about the plan of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to tap Gilas cadet members for the national team that sees action in a series of zone qualifiers for the 2019 Fiba World Cup in China.

League media bureau chief Willie Marcial said the board of governors has not been informed about the decision of SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan to revive the original Gilas program where the national team will be made up of amateur and collegiate standouts tied down to long-term commitments.

The program, which Pangilinan already approved, according to Gilas team manager Butch Antonio, meant most – if not all – of the Gilas cadets won’t be available for the 2016 PBA draft since the Fiba World Cup zone qualifiers will start by next year.

It will also see the end of the PBA stars' participation in Fiba tournaments.

[See Return to original Gilas program signals end of PBA stars' participation in national team]

“Narinig lang namin pero wala pang abiso sa amin,” said Marcial, adding the issue is not even included in the agenda of the scheduled board meeting in Japan to be held stating on Wednesday.

At the moment, the PBA lends its players to the Philippine team, and at the same time, adjusts its playing calendar in order not to overlap with FIBA-scheduled tournaments.

Knowing the league like the palm of his hands, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios said he believes the league is always ready to support the national cause, provided it be given the scheduled Fiba tournaments ahead of time.

Unfortunately, SBP has also not yet been furnished by Fiba on how it goes about with its new playing calendar.

“Not being biased with the PBA side, pero ang gusto lang naman nila is to be informed ng mga different Fiba tournaments for them to adjust their schedule,” said Barrios, a former league commissioner himself.

“But on the part din naman ng SBP, in as much as we want to provide them with schedules in advance, e maski rin naman kami (SBP) wala pa ring idea on how Fiba will be conducting this new format of them,” said Barrios.

Still, Marcial expects the SBP to sit down with the PBA board one of these days to discuss the issue.

“Uupuan namin (PBA and SBP) yan,” he said, noting the PBA is a major stakeholder of the country’s governing body for the sport. 


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