WHILE other PBA teams grudgingly loan one player to Gilas Pilipinas, Rain or Shine's owners are willing to give their whole team to the pool.
Co-owner Raymund Yu expects national mentor Chot Reyes to again tap Gilas regulars Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan. He has no problem going beyond the board-approved one-player-per-team policy and releasing both, and wants to throw in Beau Belga if Reyes wants him as well.
“Sa akin kung may gusto pa sila, sabihin lang nila”, said Yu. “Hindi ko pinipilit ha, pero tingin ko si Beau pwede yun eh. Pambungguan lang sa malalaki ng Korea at China."
Yu feels the former Philippine Christian University Doplhin who has blossomed under Painters coach Yeng Guiao can give Gilas a different weapon with his wide body and three-point shooting.
“OK si Beau, kasi walang takot yun sa ilalim, tapos may shooting pa sa tres," said Yu.
Co-owner Terry Que, for his part, says sophomore guard Paul Lee and role players Jireh Ibanes, Jervy Cruz, and JR Quinahan are “equally capable cagers” who can be drafted by Gilas.
Both Que and Yu admitted the great risks involved in lending Norwood and Co. to Gilas, but said “it’s all part of sacrifice for country."
“Bansa natin yun, pagdadamutan mo ba?” said Que.
Yu on the other hand is happy that the FIBA Asia Championships will again take place in the country after a 40-year wait.
“Antagal na nung huli, natandaan ko pa yun pinapanuod ko pa sa TV yun, elementary pa lang ata ako nun," said Yu , a rabid basketball fan who plays pick-up games with friends thrice a week.