Salud awaits word from new coach Tab Baldwin, MVP on composition of next Gilas team
PBA commissioner Chito Salud says the league has already cut back on its season to give Tab Baldwin the option to field Gilas in next year's Jones Cup in Taipei in August. Jerome Ascano

PBA commissioner Chito Salud reiterated the pro league's all-out in supporting to Gilas Pilipinas as new coach Tab Baldwin laid down his mission to win no less than a gold medal in next year’s Fiba-Asia men’s championship.

Salud bared that the pro league has already cut back on its season schedule to end some time in the third week of July instead of its original target of August 7, giving Baldwin the option of letting Gilas participate in the Williams Jones Cup in Chinese Taipei set in August.

Salud said the Jones Cup is a good avenue to prepare the Gilas team for next year’s Fiba-Asia men’s championships in Wuhan, China, which will serve as the qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

But with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan and Tab Baldwin yet to hammer out the details of the national team’s direction over the next four years, Salud intends to wait before making a decision on how to go about with the lending of PBA players.

“Mr. Pangilinan of SBP has just taken the decision today so let’s give him and Tab Baldwin time to digest all of this and to plan ahead and then consult with the (PBA) chairman of the board, the governors (of the PBA), SBP with Mr. (Ricky) Vargas as to when and how many players to choose for the national team,” he said.

In the last Gilas team under Chot Reyes, PBA teams were mandated to release at least one player to the national squad.

The Gilas Pilipinas squad that made history by winning a game in this year’s Fiba World Cup in Spain, saw San Miguel Corp.-owned teams contribute at least one player each to the national team.

Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text had the most number of players loaned to Gilas national team with three each, while Ginebra had two. San Miguel and Purefoods Star had one representative each.

The Elasto Painters had Paul Lee, Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood, while the Tropang Texters lend Ranidel de Ocampo, Jayson Castro and Jimmy Alapag.

Barangay Ginebra was represented by Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio, Purefoods contributed Marc Pingris, Meralco had Gary David while San Miguel Beer had June Mar Fajardo.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava