THE PBA Board reiterated TnT Katropa is eligible to play in the 18th Asian Games including coach Chot Reyes.
With the quadrennial meet to be held in Indonesia next month not under the FIBA umbrella, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Roger Pogoy, and Troy Rosario are very much qualified to play in the Asiad despite the suspension meted out on them by the world governing basketball body following the brawl that marred the Philippine-Australia game.
Even Reyes and naturalized player Andray Blatche are actually entitled with the same rights.
As it is, members of the board said the suspension of the 10 Gilas players along with Reyes only covers the second round windows of the World Cup qualifiers.
“They’re suspended in the window, but they can play in the Asian Games,” said Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua on Friday.
“TnT can represent, actually the whole team of Gilas can play,” he added.
SBP is also aware of the rules, but would rather not test the water at this point, just a week removed since FIBA handed down the suspension.
“I think from a moral standpoint, after that incident, ipahinga muna natin yung mga players na exposed in that incident,” said SBP president Al Panlilio, who ironically, is also a PBA board member representing Meralco.
The suspension of the four players led to TnT begging off from representing the country to the Asiad, a task Rain or Shine inherited later on.
Chua even suggested to Rain or Shine owner Raymund Yu the team can enlist the services of Blatche citing the same reason of the board.
“I event told Mr. Raymund Yu that if ever he pushes through with the plan, the only problem he will face is wala siyang naturalized player,” said Chua, the San Miguel Corp. sports director.
“Again, I don’t know if I’m right, but I think I’m right, if ever hihiramin niya si Blatche, puwede,” he said.
But none of that is possible now following the SBP’s decision to forego the country’s participation in the Asiad.
If only TnT had agreed to play earlier.
“If they’re qualified to play in the Asian Games, the big question is why not let them play? The whole team of Gilas palaruin natin,” Chua stressed.
“Nahihiya tayo, natatakot tayo dahil baka magalit ang FIBA? Actually wala sa rules yun. They can.”