ALASKA isn’t closing the door on lending its players to the Gilas Pilipinas national pool and is just waiting for a scheduled sit-in meeting with coach Tab Baldwin on how to go about the process.
Team manager Dickie Bachmann said the team has been notified by PBA commissioner Chito Salud about a meeting with the national coach along with the other ballclub owners and officials to appraise them about his plan with the Gilas team bound for the qualifying meet for the 2016 Rio de Jainero Olympics.
“No (we’re not closing the doors on Gilas), but commissioner Chito is trying to arrange coach Tab to meet with all the team owners so he can explain the plans he has for the national team,” Bachman told Spin.ph on Monday.
“That (meeting with team owners) will make it (the national program) easier for us to understand.”
Among Alaska players, energetic forward Calvin Abueva has been repeatedly cited as among those possible key additions to the pool.
Bachmann though made it clear there’s no official word from Baldwin on his plan to tap the services of Abueva.
Alaska has not been represented in the Gilas pool for the past two years under former coach Chot Reyes. Initially, Reyes and his coaching staff eyed Abueva and veteran big man Sonny Thoss. But the two had to beg off as they were sent to China along with former Alaska player Gabby Espinas, to undergo alternative medical treatment for their injuries.
Thoss and Tenorio (when he was still with Alaska) were the last players to be lent by Alaska to the Gilas Pilipinas pool during the national team's championship run in the 2012 Jones Cup in Taipei.
Baldwin earlier told Spin.ph he plans to name the men’s national pool sometime during the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
However, the American-New Zealander, who succeeded Reyes as Gilas coach, said no meeting with team owners has been set.
“Nothing is set for that (meeting with team owners). I have no meetings at this point,” he said. “But it wouldn’t be a bad idea.”
Once the Gilas pool has been named, Baldwin said practice won’t commence 'till after the season-ending Governors Cup, which ends sometime in the middle of July.
That will give the national team, expected to be anchored on young, big man June Mar Fajardo, at least two months to prepare and train for the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship in China this September, which serves as the qualifier for next year’s Olympics.