THE sensitive issue on whether to allow members of Gilas 5.0 to join the coming PBA draft is set to be discussed when the league board sits down for its regular monthly meeting this week.
With several suggestions thrown its way, the league has yet to come out with a final stand on the matter in the wake of a plan by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) to tap amateur and collegiate top guns to form the core of the next batch of Gilas Pilipinas.
Media bureau chief Wllie Marcial though, said it’s not certain whether the agenda will be tackled under the ‘other matters’ part of the meeting.
“Puwedeng i-tackle, pwede ring hindi kasi regular board meeting lang ito,” he said. “Pero malapit na (kasi ang draft), kung may mag-raise, most likely mapapag-usapan.”
The draft is tentatively set in the last week of October.
Alaska team owner Wilfred Uytengsu earlier suggested that Gilas cadets be included in the draft, with teams retaining the rights of the drafted players once his stint with the national team is over.
The board meeting will be the first since a new SBP president was elected earlier this month in Al Panlilio, who also happens to be a member of the league board representing Meralco.
Panlilio himself disclosed plans of holding a separate draft for Gilas 5.0 members, although Marcial was quick to clarify that no agreement has been reached about such proposal.
Uytengsu later stood pat on his proposal that gilas cadet members should be included in the regular rookie draft and not made to go through a special drafting.
“I have proposed that the Gilas cadets join the PBA draft and not that we create a separate draft for them,” said the vocal Alaska team owner, citing five points on why including the cadets in the regular drat would be beneficial for everybody involved.
“I believe what I proposed is the best situation for the PBA to show it’s whole-hearted support for the national team, for the SBP to show its support for the PBA, and providing the win-win situation that is above politics and what the Filipino fans deserve.”
The SBP was forced to revisit the original Gilas (cadet) program following the change in the format and playing calendar of all Fiba major international tournaments, a move which the basketball federation believe would keep pros from commiting to the national squad due to the scheduling conflict.