SMART Gilas coach Chot Reyes is set to draw up a new 20-player pool for the approval of the PBA board as the national team begins its buildup for a busy 2013 campaign to be capped by a stint in the Asian championships.
PBA commissioner Chito Salud said members of the Gilas team that won the Jones Cup and placed fourth in the Fiba Asia Cup in Tokyo are not guaranteed spots in the revised team, which will begin 2013 with stints in the Dubai International Invitational and the King's Cup in Hong Kong.
“We agreed that they will submit a revised 20-man pool to be submitted to the office of the commissioner as soon as they finalize it (20-man lineup). And we will announce it as soon as it is submitted to us,” Salud said during Wednesday afternoon’s press conference at the MOA Arena.
The Dubai Invitational is scheduled on January 10-22, while the King Cup in Hong Kong is from January 22-27.
The original Smart Gilas squad led by then collegiate standouts JVee Casio, Chris Tiu, Mark Barroca and Mac Baracael placed third in the 2010 Dubai Invitational finishing runner-up the following year, bowing to Egypt in the finals.
Salud added that Reyes has proposed to hold the team’s practice every Monday from 8-10 p.m. at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City, with more practices added to the schedule as the Dubai and Hong Kong tournaments draw closer.
The PBA commissioner added that selected players from the revised 20-man pool may only join the team practice as their schedule permits and as long as they don’t miss the games of their respective PBA mother clubs.
By the time the Dubai Invitation begins, the PBA’s Philippine Cup will be playing its championship series, thus the national squad have little adjustment to make as far as scheduling is concerned.
However, Salud reiterated that players chosen to be part of the pool won’t have a permanent position in the roster.
“The lineup can be changed or replenished as the need arises until we reach the 2013 Fiba qualifying tournament. So right after the two tournaments, magre-review si Chot, then he will submit another 20-man pool, if ever,” he added.
Aside from members of the Jones Cup-winning team, others on Reyes' wish list are Marc Pingris of San Mig Coffee, Petron’s Arwind Santos and rookie 6-10 center June Mar Fajardo, Talk ‘n Text swingman Kelly Williams as well as 6-11 Greg Slaughter of the five-time UAAP champions Ateneo Blue Eagles.