SONNY Thoss said he intends to appeal to Alaska management should the team keep him from joining Gilas Pilipinas’ once-a-week practice, saying the chance to play in the Fiba-Asia championships infront of a home crowd in a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
Emerging from the dugout shortly after helping Alaska pull off a tight 77-73 win over Barako Bull on Sunday, Thoss said he has yet to receive any official communication from team officials regarding reports that he won't be allowed to join Gilas' practice until after the Aces' final game of the Commissioner's Cup.
“Nobody (from management) has talked to me regarding Gilas practice. I’ve just been hearing reports,” Thoss told Spin.ph.
Gilas' next practice is scheduled on Monday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City and the 6-7 Thoss said he intends to join the rest in Chot Reyes' 17-man pool.
Should management refuse to let him attend the practice, Thoss said he will make a strong appeal to Alaska management.
“Of course, I’m excited and honored to be part of the national team. This is a big step for our country. But I know that’s tough (if management’s bars him from joining Gilas). I respect management but at the same time, this is for flag and country,” he said.
“I want to represent the country, especially if Gilas wants me to be part of it (in the final 12). Hope we can work something out if ever I get selected,” added the 31-year-old Thoss, who was part of the Gilas Pilipinas squad that bagged the Williams Jones Cup crown in Taipei last year.
The PBA board has not agreed to lend players to Gilas but also gave the chosen players the green light to attend practices that begin with once-a-week sessions before escalating in frequency in the months leading to the August 1-11 showpiece in Manila.
But apparently, an internal agreement had given an exception to Alaska, which, even before Reyes made his selection public, had already informed both Gilas officials and the board that it will only allow its players to join Gilas practices after its last game in the Commissioner's Cup.
The agreement had been kept under wraps, perhaps for fear that it could cause another strain on the already fragile alliance among PBA teams over the Gilas buildup.