DON'T be surprised if Gilas Pilipinas will have a few new faces when the national men’s squad sees action in the Fiba World Cup next year in Spain.
With the Philippines set to return to the world basketball stage for the first time since 1978, PBA chairman Mon Seguismundo said changes are possible in line with the league's thrust to send nothing but “the best available talent” to Spain.
“Yes, that’s (adding new faces in Gilas) possible,” Seguismundo told Spin.ph after emerging from the regular monthly meeting of the PBA board of governors on Thursday at the league’s office in Libis, Quezon City where Gilas' World Cup buildup was among those tackled.
They Said It!
“Yes, that’s possible... We want to send the best available and best possible talent." - PBA chairman Mon Seguismundo on adding new players to Gilas for 2014 Fiba World Cup
“There is a meeting of the minds between the PBA and Gilas. Wala pang exact na pinagu-usapan tungkol sa mga players but definitely, we want to send the best available and best possible talent,” he added.
The board implemented a 'one player per team' policy in the lead-up to Gilas' stint in the last Fiba-Asia championships in Manila while giving member clubs the green light to lend more players.
Segismundo said the board has yet to get down to the nitty-gritty of how to put together the team for the World Cup as well as the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea which will be held from September 19 to October 4, or just a few days after the Spain joust.
Also set to be decided by the board is the go-signal for the Asiad campaign as well as Gilas' buildup for the World Cup, which, if Gilas coach Chot Reyes will have his way, should start on the first week of January with once-a-week practices.
“Definitely, yung Monday practice dapat maaga, it’s just a question of when do they really start practicing,” said Seguismundo, who also serves as Meralco’s board governor.
Gilas Pilipinas bagged the silver medal in the Fiba-Asia men’s championship last August despite a tight three-month preparation that includes training and tuneup matches in Lithuania and New Zealand.
The silver medal finish guaranteed the Philippines one of the three slots reserved for Asia in the 2014 Fiba World Cup.