INCOMING PSC commissioner Mon Fernandez tempered his expectations for the Gilas Pilipinas team set to compete in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament this July, but nevertheless expressed his full support to the national squad.
The 4-time PBA MVP, who was appointed as one of the commissioners under incoming Philippine Sports Commission chairman William 'Butch' Ramirez, said Gilas is facing a daunting task in claiming the lone berth for the Rio De Janeiro Olympics with the quality of opponents that will be coming to Manila for the OQT. Still, the Philippine basketball legend said he will be supporting the national squad in their quest for an Olympic berth.
"It’s going to be a tough job definitely," Fernandez said on Tuesday after the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum. "I wouldn’t want to raise my expectations so much. But definitely, I’m hoping and praying for the team that they make it, of course."
Gilas Pilipinas recently revealed its final 12 for the Fiba Olympic qualifiers, which didn’t include Calvin Abueva of Alaska and LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra, a decision that was met with mixed reactions.
Fernandez, however, urged Filipino fans to support Gilas coach Tab Baldwin’s decision.
"I think that’s a pretty good team. Siyempre, coach’s prerogative. You have to give it to the coach kasi he has the game plan that he feels ‘yung 12 na ‘to ang magagamit niya, which is effective," said Fernandez.
“Let’s leave it to the coaches. That’s the responsibility of the coaches so let’s support him,” he added.
Fernandez, however, is non-committal about watching the OQT inside the MOA Arena since he is expected to be busy with his new role in the PSC.
“I’m not sure yet. Baka ma-timing na patawagin ako ng meeting with chairman so I’m going to be coming in and out (of Manila) because in the first three months, we are going to organize ourselves,” said Fernandez.