A MIX of professional and amateur players will compose the Gilas Pilipinas Men's pool for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio said a 24-man pool has been submitted by the federation to the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) ahead of the September 30 deadline.
Panlilio didn’t reveal all the members of the pool but rattled off the names of PBA players Christian Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle as well as collegiate standouts Thirdy Ravena and Isaac Go during an ambush interview after Tuesday’s SBP press conference at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“It is a way for us to develop other players,” said Panlilio. “If you see the mix of the players, may mga amateurs.”
Special assistant to SBP the president Ryan Gregorio, however, said the pool faces revision following the resignation of Yeng Guiao as Gilas coach.
The Phisgoc also extended the deadline of submission of the pool, more known in multisport competition as the ‘Entry by Name,' to September 30, allowing SBP to make changes to the pool.
“As we speak right now, my assessment is we are going to start from scratch and revisit and come up with a new [list],” said Gregorio.
Once finalized, it will be the first time professional players will compete in the biennial meet. Ever since, amateur players have been donning the Philippine colors in the SEA Games, winning 17 out of the 19 editions of men’s basketball.
Gregorio said it was SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan who insisted that the SEA Games team should be a mixture of PBA and college players.
“That’s definitely the combination,” Gregorio said, referring to the mix of PBA and collegiate players. “We want to have some youth movement also so we want to have some collegiate players and get the necessary experience. Kailangan rin may veteran leadership that we can get from the PBA.”
Both Pringle and Standhardinger can only play for Gilas as naturalized players in Fiba tournaments, but both Fil-foreigners are allowed to play as locals in multisport events like the SEA Games and Asian Games.
Gregorio said they are also giving the incoming head coach a say in the composition of the pool for the SEA Games.
A coach has yet to be named by the SBP for the biennial meet that kicks off on November 30 in various venues on Luzon island.
“It’s more of addition than subtraction… It depends on the new coach. The coach can also assess,” said Gregorio.