GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes is keeping his fingers crossed ahead of a crucial meeting with the PBA board, which will discuss primarily the buildup of the national team for the Fiba World Cup in Spain and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea late this year.
Under the current parameters set by the league, Reyes can only assemble his players for training camp on August 1 at the earliest - barely a month before the start of the world championships where the Philippines will be competing for the first time since 1978.
They Said It!
“I expect the worst but hope for the best. I just hope to have as much time to prepare the team for the World Cup." - Smart Gilas coach Chot Reyes
That of course does not sit well with Reyes, who hopes to have all his players full time for at least three months before the country's return to the world stage.
But to grant Reyes' request, the board may have to do a major another tweaking of the pro league schedule just like it did in the last Fiba-Asia championships in Manila where Gilas finished second behind Iran to punch a ticket to the World Cup.
Another workable solution is to have the PBA ballclubs release the Gilas players to the national team by the third conference of the season, the Governors Cup - a setup that obviously do not appeal to the team owners.
"To tell you the truth, I really don't want to expect anything," said Reyes. "I expect the worst but hope for the best. I just hope to have as much time to prepare the team for the World Cup."
On the other hand, league chairman Mon Seguismundo said he is optimistic the meeting with Reyes could produce a “win-win” solution and a workable plan for Gilas.
“We expect a lot of discussion and conversation with Chot because certainly, we would need to discuss the issue on Gilas. But we (board) will be open as we try to come up with a win-win agreement,” Seguismundo bared to Spin.ph on Wednesday.
Segismundo said with precious time ticking away leading to the world basketball showpiece from August 30 to September 14 that will be played in six Spanish cities, there is no point in dilly-dallying as he assured the pro league’s all-out support for the national squad.
“The PBA is willing to listen to him (Reyes) and have an open mind, make adjustments if agreeable to the owners and governors. It is a shared interest for us to do well in Spain and in Korea,” Seguismundo said.