Panlilio, Narvasa assure full PBA commitment to Gilas despite dodgy schedule ahead
SBP president and concurrent Meralco governor Al Panlilio and PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa after Monday's board meeting. Gerry Ramos

THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and the PBA will hold another round of talks in the presence of Gilas coach Chot Reyes to lay down the national team program for the next 12 months, including its buildup and participation in the Fiba World Cup qualifiers.

SBP president Al Panlilio and league commissioner Chito Narvasa said it is imperative for Reyes to be in the meeting to give both sides a clearer picture of Gilas’ timetable leading to the home-and-away tournament that kicks off in November.

“Kailangan talaga si Chot ang kausap. We have to include him para 'yung programa niya ma-align, kasi minsan baka mamaya may problem, at least manggaling sa kanya,” said Panlilio after attending the special board meeting on Monday afternoon at the PBA office to tackle the adjustment the PBA has to make for the Gilas program.

“At tsaka para mapaliwanagan din naman yung board because they also have questions,” said Narvasa. “Kasi minsan kaming dalawa hindi rin namin masagot.”

[See Chot Reyes to pick replacement players from NLEX, Meralco after Grey, Guinto trades]

Matters to be discussed include the composition of the two Gilas teams to be sent to both the Fiba Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon, and Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, which will be held one after the other in August.

“Yun ang pag-uusapan namin kasi we need to know the level of competition to know the kind of lineup we will bring,” said Narvasa.

No schedule has been set for the meeting, which Panlilio said could be between the three of them with Narvasa and Reyes, but is also open to the entire board.

“We’ll try to meet him as soon as possible,” said Panlilio. “At the very least kaming tatlo siguro but if anybody has time to join us, we will advise them kung kelan ang meeting and they are welcome to join.”

Adjustment in the PBA playing schedule will also be made, especially during the Fiba World Cup qualifier.

At the moment, what is clear is the initial round of the home-and-away meet which will be held sometime in November, by which time the league’s new season could have only just began.

“Ang pinaka-least na tatamaan pa nga yung first window (ng qualifier), kasi baka break pa yung PBA nun or baka kakasimula pa lang ng season nun,” said Panlilio. “So yun medyo maayos pa ang schedule nun."

“Ang magiging concern diyan is beyond that, yung February, June, and July.”


But what is clear is that the board is fully behind the program, according to Narvasa.

“The spirit is we’ll help each other,” said the commissioner. “There was no resistance whatsoever. Nagbigay sila talaga ng full commitment. From the owners down. Siyempre gusto rin nilang malaman saan ba tayo pupunta. So its our obligation naman ro provide them with an information.”

“Ako I seat on both sides,” Panlilio added. “Wala akong doubt sa commitment ng PBA.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos