THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will likely field two teams, one each for the Fiba Asia Cup and the Southeast Asian Games, in August.
SBP president Al Panlilio explained the move, saying the grind of playing two tournaments so close to one another would definitely take a toll on one Gilas squad.
“The thinking at that time is you can’t field one team because it’s going to be too taxing for the team to continue to play for one month,” Panlilio said during the Southeast Asian Basketball Association Championship press conference on Tuesday.
The Fiba Asia Cup is set from August 10 to 20 in Lebanon, while the SEA Games is scheduled on the same month from the 19th to 31st in Malaysia.
“So talagang mago-overlap. It’s going to be difficult,” Panlilio said. “Most probably there’s going to be really two teams that will be formed. I don’t know if it’s going to be a mix of players. Technically it will be two teams.”
National coach Chot Reyes said he is not yet thinking that far ahead, keeping his focus on the Seaba Championship on May 12 to 18 where only the winner of the seven-team competition is granted a ticket to the Fiba Asia Cup.
“Realistically, we’re not thinking about it yet, because we want to focus our attention on Seaba, because none of that is going to mean anything unless we win Seaba,” Reyes said.
“But just by the format, it’s impossible for one team to play that, so we’re going to most likely form two teams,” added Reyes, who has a 26-man pool, including Andray Blatche, at his disposal.
“Having said that, wala pa kaming details whether coach Jong (Uichico) will handle the SEA Games,” Reyes continued. “Hindi pa namin alam, because, like I said, we want to make sure that our full concentration is on the Seaba first. And then we can worry about that.”