SAMAHANG Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan said the negative impact of the revived Gilas cadet program on the PBA rookie draft will only be temporary, adding he expects graduates of the national team pool to eventually replenish the pro league ranks.
The SBP is set to revive the original Gilas program that will gain long-term commitments from top amateurs like Kiefer Ravena, Mac Belo, Kevin Ferrer and Mike Tolomia - players who consequently will be forced to skip the next PBA rookie draft.
While the development will leave the 2016 draft class bereft of big names, Pangilinan said he sees the Gilas cadet roster as an “active pool” where players can be replaced year after year, with the players dropping out of the program eventually moving on to the PBA.
“I would envisage that the pool will be an active pool where we could start with a certain number of players, but after each year, you could replenish and replace certain players," said the basketball patron.
"Those who are being replaced can conceivably get drafted by the PBA, say after a year,” he added. “It’s only the first year that there could be an impact on drafting.”
PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa admitted the professional league will be affected by the impending absence of Ravena and Co. from the next draft.
Narvasa, however, made it clear the league fully supports the cadet program.
Pangilinan stressed the need for the SBP and PBA to sit down and draw up a plan on the formation of future national teams in light of Fiba's move to shift to a quarterly home-and-away qualifying format for the 2019 World Cup.
“The details of the program will have to be coordinated with Commissioner Narvasa so that we will be working in collaboration with what the PBA likes and the calendar,” said Pangilinan.