THANKFULLY, a PBA board divided over the tenure of Commissioner Chito Narvasa is united when it comes to flag and country – at least on Friday night when Gilas Pilipinas started its buildup for the Fiba World Cup qualifiers.
The five teams composing the minority group that’s standing by the embattled Narvasa honored their word that they will continue to lend their players to a national team spearheaded by officials identified with a rival PBA bloc that wants the commissioner out.
Players from San Miguel Corp.-owned teams showed up for Day One of practice at the Meralco gym as Gilas kicked off its preparation for a qualifier away against Japan on Nov. 24 and at home to Chinese-Taipei on Nov. 27.
June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer, Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar, and Jio Jalalon of Star were present in the closed-door training session - the first over a three-week span leading up to the Japan game.
Calvin Abueva and Carl Bryan Cruz of Alaska, Rain or Shine’s Raymond Almazan and Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario of TNT, and Matthew Wright of Phoenix were also among the early birds in practice.
Jayson Castro and Roger Pogoy joined Rosario as the Texters representatives, while Allein Maliksi and Mac Belo of Blackwater also showed up and completed the 13 players in attendance.
Conspicuously missing at posting time was GlobalPort star Terrence Romeo.