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    Plan to allow Gilas to play in PBA as a guest team scrapped

    SBP now looking to mount a pocket tournament in June involving Gilas, two PBA teams and an international side
    Mar 12, 2021
    Willie Marcial Al Panlilio Dickie Bachmann
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    THE plan to have Gilas Pilipinas play as a guest team in the 2021 PBA season will no longer push through as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) changed direction in the national team's buildup for two major competitions.

    SBP president Al Panlilio said joining the season-opening PBA Philippine Cup is no longer feasible since Gilas will have a busy schedule in the coming months preparing for the final Fiba Asia Cup window and the Olympic qualifiers.

    “We will start the buildup quite early, even starting by this month, to start training. We might also go out internationally for some competition to practice the team. It might be difficult for us to really join the PBA tournament,” said Panlilio.


      At the end of a two-day planning session with the PBA board, Gilas decided to field an all-cadets squad for the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, both slated in the month of June.


      The players picked in the special Gilas round of the 2019 and 2020 PBA rookie draft will form part of the core group along with naturalization candidate Ange Kouame. Kai Sotto is also being considered to join the pool.

      Panlilio said the SBP is now looking at two options for the Gilas buildup that would still involve the PBA in a smaller scale.

      The first option is to hold a pocket tournament that will have Gilas playing two PBA teams and one international side just before the final window of the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers set in June.


        Another option is for Gilas Pilipinas to play a few PBA teams during the conference with the result of the matches not reflecting in the standings.

        “That’s something that we will have to work with Comm. Willie (Marcial) on how we can do that but those are two welcome initiatives that we can do with the PBA as we prepare for those two important windows what we are planning this June,” said Panlilio.

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        "That is something that we are seriously considering."

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        PHOTO: PBA Images
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