MANY-TIME national coach Norman Black believes Smart Gilas II needs to have all the best players in the PBA to be competitive against Asia’s powerhouse teams.
That includes the stars of the San Miguel Corp.-owned teams.
“There is still room for improvement but we might need all the cooperation for it to happen,” Black told Spin.ph a day after a Gilas II team made up mostly of PBA stars ended a 14-year drought in the Jones Cup in Taipei.
Black, head coach of the Sinag Pilipinas team that captured the gold medal in last year's Southeast Asian Games, pointed out that Chot Reyes' champion team wasn't exactly made up of the pro league's best players.
“I think the most important thing is bring all the best players from all the teams. Majority of the players from the San Miguel group didn’t participate. They have some of the best players in the country,” said Black, who incidentally led San Miguel Beer to a PBA Grand Slam in 1989.
It was also Black who coached the Philippine national team led by the core of his San Miguel Beer team during the 1994 Asian Games. They finished fourth in the tournament.
Black said that the Philippines can use the Jones Cup title as a springboard for more success in international competitions beginning with next year’s Fiba-Asia championships.
“Internationally, it’s a big win for Philippine basketball. We are heading in the right direction,” said Black. “Chot did a great job and [Marcus] Douthit and the PBA players seemed to be a great fit for the team.
“The most important thing now is to bring all the best players to the national team.”