NATIONAL coach Chot Reyes hopes the PBA selection that will play Gilas Pilipinas in the PBA All-Star extravaganza this May in Digos City, Davao del Sur, would be reinforced by imports currently seeing action in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Reyes said the Nationals have yet to play any tune-up matches owing to the once-a-week practice he’s allowed to do for the time being while the import-laden tournament is ongoing.
“Wala pa (tune-up) except` yung sa All-Star (game) sa Davao,” Reyes told Spin.ph on Wednesday night after watching the featured doubleheader between Meralco and Barako Bull and Talk `N Text against Rain or Shine at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The 49-year-old national mentor said he frequents the PBA games lately in order to see how players included in the Gilas Pilipinas pool are doing.
But at the same time, watching the matches also allows him an opportunity to see how the imports play.
Reyes is batting to have the PBA selection reinforced with imports during the All-Star spectacle in order for the Gilas players to get accustomed to going up against bigger opponents in the coming Fiba-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship to be held in Manila.
The Nationals are using the All-Star game as kick-off point of their two-month preparation for the August 1-11 meet that serves as qualifier to the 2014 Fiba-World Basketball Championship in Spain.
The top three teams in the Fiba-Asia will earn slots to the world meet.
As it stands now, the starting unit of the PBA selection will be chosen through fan votes, while the rest of the roster will be selected by the rest of the league coaches. The PBA All-Star will be handled by Alaska’s Luigi Trillo.
This early, expected to play in the featured event of the annual mid-season extravaganza set May 1-6 are Barangay Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa, Globalport’s Solomon Mercado, Arwind Santos of Petron and San Mig Coffee’s James Yap.
Reyes has 15 PBA players in his 17-man pool led by Ranidel de Ocampo, Jason castro, Jimmy Alapag, Kelly Williams, Ryan Reyes, Larry Fonacier and Jared Dillinger of Talk 'N Text, Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan of Rain or Shine, Gary David and Japeth Aguilar of Globalport, Alaska's Sonny Thoss, LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra, Marc Pingris of San Mig Coffee and June Mar Fajarado of Petron.
Naturalized player Marcus Douthit and Greg Slaughter of NLEX in the PBA D-League complete the cast.