THE wish list of Chot Reyes for the revised Smart Gilas 2.0 pool may most likely not include big-name players in the mold of James Yap, Marc Pingris, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, Kelly Williams, Ranidel de Ocampo, among others.
The PBA board on Wednesday decided that new players to be included in the national team set to compete in two international tournaments in 2013 will only be chosen from among the six squads that will be eliminated in the ongoing Philippine Cup.
So far, San Mig Coffee, Rain or Shine, and defending champion Talk `N Text, teams from which Yap, Pingris, Chan, Norwood, Williams and De Ocampo are playing, respectively, are all on top of the All-Filipino standings.
Speaking before sportswriters, Commissioner Chito Salud said the new setup was adopted by the board so as not to “disrupt the ongoing Philippine Cup schedule, while still helping national coach Chot Reyes prepare the national team for the two international tournaments on January 2013.”
“That’s the board’s way of accommodating the national team,” Salud said. “We sat down with them (Smart-Gilas led by Reyes) para mapag-usapan, and para di ma-disrupt `yung schedule ng PBA.”
Smart Gilas 2.0 is scheduled to participate in the Dubai Invitational set on January 10-22, and the King’s Cup in Hong Kong from January 22-27.
Salud said the two tournaments in January are not part of the original proposal made by Reyes and the Gilas team, which is why he had to bring the matter first for board approval.
“I told the board Coach Chot wanted these two tournaments as tune-ups to see which players will fit for international competition. The board saw merit in that, and said he could choose from among the six teams that will be eliminated, while advising them to use the cadet in the pool if they need additional players,” added Salud.
Reyes’ request to revise the 20-man pool came at the heels of the national team’s fourth-place finish in the Fiba Asia Cup in Tokyo, Japan.
The national mentor wanted to plug specific holes in the Gilas roster, particularly in the frontline and the wings where the team clearly needs additional shooters.
Reyes mentioned after the Fiba Asia Cup that part of his wish list in the future national squad should include Pingris, Petron’s Arwind Santos, and 6-foot-10 rookie center June Mar Fajardo, Williams of Talk ‘N Text as well as 6-foot-11 Greg Slaughter of five-time UAAP champions Ateneo Blue Eagles.