SBP upbeat it can send best Gilas squad to FIBA tiffs

SBP upbeat it can send best Gilas squad to FIBA tiffs

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes gives instructions to his charges on the eve of the recent SEABA Championship. | Joey Mendoza/File

MANILA, Philippines – Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio, also the Meralco Bolts representative to the PBA board, is optimistic the pro league can figure the best way to form the most competitive team possible to be sent to the coming key FIBA events.

“There should be no problem for as long as we’re one in the objective,” said Panlilio ahead of the crucial PBA board meeting at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City this noon.

“We’ve talked about this before. What has always been the concern before is the date (of the FIBA competitions). Now, we already have the dates and I’m sharing it with the PBA board. The only question now is how do we prepare the best way,” Panlilio also told The STAR.

Panlilio said there is the standing memorandum of agreement between the PBA board and the SBP to guide them in their discussion.

“It’s not a one-sided MOA. Both parties agreed to it. I’m also a member of the PBA board, and the board made a resolution mandating commissioner Chito Narvasa to sign on behalf of the PBA,” Panlilio said.

“For me the question is whether what the MOA allows is enough for the national to have the best preparation possible. Kung hanggang doon lang, I’ll abide by the MOA,” Panlilio added.

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The FIBA has released the schedules of its major events, including the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon in August and the home-and-away qualifying games to the 2019 World Cup in China.

“Both the FIBA Asia Cup and WC qualifier are in the (PBA-SBP) MOA. Then there may be other events that are in coach Chot Reyes’ wish list like the Jones Cup. But it’s just a wish list,” said Panlilio.

“FIBA has set three-day windows in November, February and June. It’s easy to deal with these windows. The question is how we have the best preparation,” Panlilio also said.

The Asia Cup, the new continental championship featuring the merger of Australia and New Zealand with the old Asian powers, is slated Aug. 8-20.

Then Gilas Pilipinas goes through the Asian “WC” qualifier starting in November.

Gilas’ first assignment is Japan on November 24, then Chinese Taipei on November 27, Australia on February 22, Japan on February 25, Taipei on June 29 and Australia on July 2.

The Asian qualifying event will run through February 2019 with six window periods. Competing teams play two games in each window.