GILAS Pilipinas is not requesting the PBA teams to release its cadets two months before the Southeast Asian Basketball Association Championship in May - for now.
The original agreement between the PBA and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) was for the clubs to release their cadets 60 days before an international tournament and their veteran players a month before tip-off.
The Seaba, which runs from May 12 to 18 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, is less than 50 days away.
“Wala na muna yun (agreement na 'yun), because the sixty days, it has passed already,” national coach Chot Reyes said after practice on Monday. “The Seaba wasn’t part of the original agreement, so we’re basically improvising at this point. Yun original agreements are not in effect for now muna.”
“It’s a work in progress, but we continue to communicate (with the PBA),” he added.
Another new agreement – the release of 15 players 15 days before the start of the Seaba - is also still negotiable, according to Reyes.
“Wala pa namang number in that regard,” the national coach insisted. “For me, we’re just going to keep the whole pool intact and then, we’ll just make an announcement when the need is already there … basically, the deadline for Seaba. But for now, we’re not troubling ourselves with fifteen or twelve or whatever.”
“I think the best situation is still to continue have the whole pool practicing,” he added of the 27-man pool including naturalized player Andray Blatche.
Reyes expects daily practices to start on April 10.
“But those who have games in the PBA are going to be excused the day before and the gameday itself,” he disclosed. “That’s why it’s important to still have the pool because you can imagine if we only have a fifteen-man lineup, then there are two games, four teams, and two players per team, that’s already eight, so if we only have a fifteen-man lineup, that will leave us with six, seven, eight, or nine, and we can’t practice that way.”
“So I thought it was better just to keep the entire pool intact, continuing to practice so that even when there are players that need to rest, we can still have a full practice,” he added.