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    PBA players to be allowed to suit up for nat'l team in SEAG, says Marcial

    Mar 2, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    THE PBA will lend its players to the 30th Southeast Asian Games if the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) makes a formal request to have an all-pro team to the biennial contest.

    PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the league will support the country’s participation in the SEA Games which the Philippines will be hosting from November 30 to December 15.

    “Kapag hiningi ni (PBA) chairman (Ricky) Vargas ang PBA, ibibigay namin,” Marcial said after Friday’s PBA board meeting.

    PBA chairman Ricky Vargas is also the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

    The Philippines has never fielded a team backed by PBA players in the history of the SEA Games.

    The possibility of having an all-pro team opened up as the PBA will be taking a break for the SEA Games from Nov. 29 to Dec. 15.

    For his part, Vargas also wants to have a PBA-backed team for the 2019 SEA Games not just in the 5-on-5 but also in the 3x3, which will make its debut in the biennial meet this year.

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    “Actually, pinag-uusapan rin namin ‘yung 3x3. We are allowing PBA players even on 3x3. Sagot ko naman, kapag hiningi ni president Al (Panlilio, SBP president), gagawin natin,” Vargas said.

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    This early, a few PBA players have expressed willingness in playing in the SEA Games, among them San Miguel cagers Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross.

    SBP president Al Panlilio said he wants to the best team possible for the SEA Games, but does not necessarily need to be the Team Pilipinas squad that will see action in the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup.

    The team will not necessarily be coached by national mentor Yeng Guiao.

    “We want to have a good showing both on 5-on-5 and 3x3,” said Panlilio.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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