PBA games schedule during Gilas stint in Fiba Asia Cup approved by league board
Gilas winds up its first practice for the Fiba Asia Cup in Lebanon next month. Jerome Ascano

THE PBA on Thursday clarified the schedule of games for the eliminations of the Governors Cup that will coincide with Gilas Pilipinas' campaign in the Fiba Asia Cup in Lebanon had the approval of the league's board of governors.

PBA communications and external affairs head Willie Marcial said all members of the board were notified of the schedule before it was finalized and made public.

"Approved ng board 'yun. Lahat yun dumaan at nakita nila bago namin i-finalize yan," said Marcial.

The schedule of games came under scrutiny last week after fans questioned why teams such as San Miguel, defending champion Barangay Ginebra, Star, and Alaska had no scheduled games during the duration of the Fiba Asia Cup.

PBA stars are on loan to Gilas during the biennial tournament scheduled from August 8 to 20 in Beirut, Lebanon, meaning SMB will be without June Mar Fajardo, Ginebra without Japeth Aguilar, Star without Jio Jalalon, and Alaska without Calvin Abueva and Carl Bryan Cruz during that stretch.

In contrast, teams such as GlobalPort (Terrence Romeo), Rain or Shine (Raymond Almazan and Gabe Norwood), and Phoenix (Matthew Wright), will have two games each during that same stretch.

Marcial, however, pointed out Ginebra has a game against NLEX on August 5 in Calasiao, Pangasinan, while San Miguel figures in a big game against Star on August 4, or days before the Fiba Asia Cup kicks off. Also scheduled on August 4 is the game between Alaska and TnT Katropa.

It is likely the Gilas players from Ginebra, Star, SMB, and Alaska will sit out those games due to their proximity to the team's departure for Beirut, Marcial added.

"Tatamaan din yung mga games na yun kasi magta-travel pa 'yung Gilas to Lebanon ahead of the tournament, " he said. "And alam ko gusto ng team na maagang umalis dito."

Marcial also pointed out the league has decided not to hold games in two straight Wednesdays (August 9 and 16) to give way to the national team's campaign.

That meant missing four games for the league, which, as it is, has to cramp its schedule as part of its commitment to help the national cause.

""Considering na gahol na talaga sa oras pero nag-break pa rin kami," he said. "Wala nga yatang nakapansin nun, e."

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