PBA chairman Mon Seguismundo said a guest stint for Gilas Pilipinas as the 11th team in the season-ending Governors Cup is a 'win-win situation,' both for the pro league and the national team as it prepares for the Fiba World Cup and Asian Games, respectively.
Seguismundo, who is also the representative of Meralco in the league board, explained that bringing in Gilas for the import-laden conference will translate to “10 more games or the equivalent of five extra playdates for team members" - and extra exposure for all the member ballclubs.
“I presented eight elements to the PBA board recently (regarding Gilas’ participation). This will result in higher revenues and sustained lengthened exposure for PBA teams,” Seguismundo told Spin.ph on Thursday.
“That means there will be 10 more games.”
The Meralco top honcho, however, stressed there are several other suggestions which the board will try to study to accommodate the training and preparation of the national team.
Earlier, Ginebra alternate governor Robert Non suggested that instead of making Gilas a part of the league’s season-ending meet, it would be more ideal if a pocket tournament will be held featuring the national team and two selections composed of PBA players.
Non said staging a pocket tournament will also benefit Gilas without disrupting the schedule of the tournament featuring imports 6-foot-6 and below.
But the Meralco senior vice president for human resources and corporate services maintains having Gilas in the Governors Cup will easily heighten fan interest, especially since not everyone could see them play in the flesh during the world basketball showcase in Spain.
“I think we just have to be innovative here, rather than saying it can’t be done,” he said. “The important thing here is we’ve agreed in principle that the PBA will go all-out in supporting Gilas.”
Seguismundo said the PBA board will be convening on March 27 to tackle the issue on Gilas’ participation, by which time the chairman expects the board to come out with a clearer plan for the national squad.