COMMISSIONER Chito Salud on Wednesday bared an ambitious plan to send the Gilas Pilipinas team to the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea in September right after its stint in the Fiba World Cup in Spain.
Salud made the announcement during the press launch of the new PBA season in the presence of Gilas coach Chot Reyes, but made it clear the plan will still have to be cleared with team owners through the league board.
The league chief said the move is in line with the aim of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to "give this country its best shot at being supreme again in Asia."
However, Reyes was the first to admit that the Asiad participation will require "a difficult and complicated preparation" since the Incheon Games will be held on September 14 to October 4, meaning Gilas will head there straight from the Fiba World Cup.
The Fiba World Cup in Spain will run from August 30 to September 14, although Gilas is not expected to be there until the finals.
"The plan, (depending) on the approval of the board, is to keep the team all the way to the Asian Games from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 (in Incheon, South Korea). It’s a very detailed, difficult, complicated preparation. So we have to sit down (with the PBA)," said Reyes.
There is also the problem of preparation since Reyes bared on Tuesday nig
They Said It!
"It’s a very detailed, difficult, complicated preparation. So we have to sit down (with the PBA)." - Gilas coach Chot Reyes
ht that Gilas will only have two weeks to prepare for the Fiba World Cup from the projected end of the next PBA season on August 15.
[For full story, see Reyes left to rue two-week Gilas buildup for Fiba-Asia World Cup]
Still, Salud sounded determined to push for the plan to send Gilas to the Asian Games, where an all-pro team last saw action in Busan in 2002.
"Our fans are looking forward for the team to do well in Asia. The fans now are exposed to global basketball. They (the fans) know the strengths of our opponents out there," said the lawyer.
"What they want is to see the pillars and leaders of basketball getting together, going out there and collectively taking action, giving this country it’s best shot at being supreme again in Asia, and I hope we realize the PBA is one with the SBP in that mission."