PBA formally commits to release two players from each team to Gilas pool
The PBA board, led by chairman Mikee Romero and Commissioner Chito Narvasa, sign the agreement with SBP president Al Panlilio, who is also board representative of Meralco.

THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and the PBA showed their commitment to continue working hand-in-hand for the sake of the national team.

The two cage bodies on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) that formalized the commitment of the pro league to lend two players from each of its 12 member ballclubs to the Gilas Pilipinas pool.

Apart from the 12 Gilas cadets now playing the league, each teams will be releasing to the national pool a player deemed by coach Chot Reyes as necessary to suit up for the Philippine team.

The MoA was signed at the Marco Polo Hotel in the presence of SBP president Al Panlilio, league commissioner Chito Narvasa, and the entire PBA board led by chairman Mikee Romero.

This marks the first time the SBP and PBA put into writing an agreement only previously reached verbally.

“It’s a landmark agreement between the SBP and the PBA moving forward,” Panlilio said. “It’s a collaboration between the two bodies in helping form out the best Gilas team that we can.”  

Panlilio said the country’s governing body for basketball has no list yet of the 12 players Gilas will be asking from each team outside of the rookie cadets.

“The choice of who will be the 12 is all on Chot,” said the SBP chief. “And all teams have made the commitment on whoever the national coach chooses will be made available to the national pool.”

The 12 rookie cadets already in the Gilas pool include Mac Belo, Kevin Ferrer, Jio Jalalon, Matthew Wright, Arnold Van Opstal, Roger Pogoy, Ed Daquioag, Von Pessumal, Mike Tolomia, Alfonso Gotladera, Russel Escoto, and Carl Bryan Cruz.

Under the MoA, Reyes can pull out from their PBA mother teams the Gilas players he wishes to comprise the team and bring to an international meet.

Aside from Romero (Globalport) and Panlilio (Meralco), other board members present were Robert Non (San Miguel), Dickie Bachmann (Alaska), Alfrancis Chua (Ginebra), Atty. Mamerto Mondragon (Rain or Shine), Siliman Sy (Blackwater), Patrick Gregorio (TNT Katropa), Rene Pardo (Star), Eric Arejola (Globalport), Atty. Raymond Zorilla (Phoenix), Ramoncito Fernandez (NLEX), and Tom Alvarez (Mahindra).

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos