PBA commissioner Chito Salud on Monday started the push for a loan plan for Gilas Pilipinas where every pro team will be mandated to release one player to the national squad vying in the Asian championships in Manila in August.
Salud said he arrived at the Solomonic policy after consultations with each of the team owners shortly after the country was awarded the hosting rights for the Asian showpiece for the first time in four decades.
The league chief said the reaction from officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, which forms the national team, was "very, very positive" when he broached the loan plan during a meeting on Monday.
"I feel this is the best option we have (for Gilas Pilipinas) in the spirit of broad representation, unity, practicality, and equity," said Salud of the plan he plans to present to the league board at the soonest possible time.
Salud hopes the plan will banish the controversy surrounding the availability of players for the national team that has hounded the Gilas Pilipinas 2.0 team of Chot Reyes since it was formed in the final quarter of last year.
A couple of teams outside the PLDT umbrella had been reluctant to release players to the national side, among them the teams under the San Miguel Corp. umbrella - Petron, Barangay Ginebra, and San Mig Coffee.
Asked if he is optimistic about getting the nod of SMC chief Ramon Ang on the plan, Salud said: "Under the parameters, yes."
"I think this will guarantee Chot of at least 10 good players for the tournament. Plus, the team (that will be formed) will truly represent the league," said Salud.
Under the plan, Reyes won't be forced to pick players from all of the teams. Neither will the teams be stopped from loaning more than one player to the national squad, Salud said.
"Walang pilitan. At the same time, no one will stop teams like Rain or Shine or Talk 'N Text, for example, from loaning more players to the national team," Salud said.
Players which Reyes will pick will be made available to Gilas for once-a-week practices with Gilas, with the frequency of the practices going up in the months leading up to the Asian championships, which the country last won in 1973.
The plan may be short of the 'blanket authority' fans want for Gilas when it comes to players' availability, but it raises hope that players from the SMC group which Reyes has long wanted - among them rookie June Mar Fajardo, Marc Pingris, and Arwind Santos - may finally be able to suit up for the national team.