NATIONAL coach Chot Reyes is bracing for the worst after being informed by the PBA that Gilas Pilipinas will only have a two-week window to train together ahead of next year’s Fiba World Cup in Spain.
Reyes said he has already been informed by Commissioner Chito Salud that owing to the league's jammed calendar for 2014, national players can only go full-time with Gilas at the end of the season, which would be on August 15 assuming the finals goes the full route.
The Fiba World Cup starts on August 30 in Spain.
“The PBA (39th season) will end on August 15. That’s really the only preparation we have before the opening of the (Fiba) worlds on August 30,” Reyes told a handful of sports scribes during the PBA Press Corps' tribute to Gilas on Tuesday night at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
“Sinabihan na kami that they (PBA) can’t adjust their schedule so for now, we’re already planning on that fact that we only had two weeks, kasi August 15 matatapos ang Finals ng last PBA conference.
"That’s two weeks, we’ll see what we can do."
Gilas was given a two-month window to prepare for the last Fiba-Asia championships in Manila, where the national team finished runner-up behind Iran to punch a ticket to the worlds for the first time in 35 years.
Given the much shorter preparation time, Reyes said he plans to start the team’s once-a-week practice on the first Monday of January 2014 in the hope of making up for the lost time.
“We can’t even play between conferences kasi one week, one week lang ang break," Reyes said. "In between second and third (conferences) may All-Star weekend pa, so we’ll have our once-a-week starting January, starting on the first Monday.”
The Philippines is returning to the world basketball stage for the first time since 1978, the year Manila hosted the international basketball showpiece.
The last Philippine team to win the Asian title in 1985, led by then amateur standouts Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Yves Digandice and Franz Pumaren, never got to see action in the world championships since it was disbanded shortly after the Edsa Revolution.