SAN Miguel Corporation sports consultant Noli Eala reiterated they have no problem lending players from their three PBA teams to the Smart-Gilas 2.0, so long as the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas goes through the right process.
Eala, who made a brief appearance in Petron Blaze's team practice on Friday at the Acropolis gym, told Spin.ph that SMC's big boss Ramon S. Ang is willing to release Boosters stars Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot to the national team, as long as SBP wrote a formal letter requesting for reinforcement.
"You're not just talking to a team manager here, because they simply have to let RSA (Ang) know of their intention. If any of our players would come to us and tell us they want to play for Gilas, fine, we'll just tell them to show me a letter of request so we can make the necessary move," said Eala.
Santos and even Petron swingman Marcio Lassiter have signified their intention to play for the Smart-Gilas 2.0 hours after the national squad nipped a tough US squad, 76-75, on Sunday to capture the William Jones Cup in Taipei.
However, Eala said Santos and Lassiter never relayed their wish to team management.
"We can't act on something that is never there in the first place. But again, let me make it clear that if the players will tell me that they want to play for the national team, we wouldn't be a stumbling block. There is no point of stopping these players from playing for the national team," he added.
Smart- Gilas 2.0 coach Chot Reyes is set to submit today the national team's final lineup for the FiBA Asia Cup set in Tokyo, Japan from September 14-24.
Pressed for comment in light of Eala's statement, Reyes sent Spin.ph a two-word response: "Too late."