PBA chairman Ricky Vargas wants the strongest team possible for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games - and he wants it separate from the national squad that will see action in this year’s Fiba Basketball World Cup.
Vargas said the PBA is committed to lending players for two teams for the two major tournaments slated this year.
“Baka magkaroon ng dalawang teams and the PBA is open to fielding two teams - one for the World Cup and one team in the SEA Games,” said Vargas.
Even though the two tournaments are not in close proximity to each other, Vargas said he wants to prevent a repeat of a 2014 situation when Gilas Pilipinas squad competed in the Fiba World Cup and in the Asian Games, just weeks apart.
After Gilas won one game in the Fiba World Cup in Spain, the nationals only placed seventh in the Asiad.
Vargas, who also serves as the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), is bent on forming the strongest team possible that he even wants naturalized player Andray Blatche to play in the SEA Games.
That, however, will be easier said than done since Blatche is playing in the Chinese Basketball Association where the season begins in October and ends in May.
“Lagay na rin natin si Blatche doon sa Southeast Asian Games,” Vargas said. “Let’s just overdo and overkill.”
Vargas also said the PBA has also expressed its commitment to field a 3x3 team in the SEA Games which will make its debut this year.