MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) sees the PBA’s lending of their players for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year a strong indicator of support for the men’s national basketball team.
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is now seriously considering the bid to the Olympic Quallifying Tournament next year, with the outgoing SBP President Manny V. Pangilinan’s outcry of assembling the best possible team for the tournament.
SBP Vice-president exclaimed that the PBA’s action of releasing 17 players for the Gilas Pilipinas’ lineup at the Olympics is a “strong signal support for the Gilas.”
SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios, who is in Abu Dhabi for the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final, expressed his delight with the league’s strong support for the Gilas’ wildcard qualifiers. In an interview by philstar.com, Barrios said the league is “seriously looking at [the Olympic Qualifying Tournament] hosting bid.”
The PBA Board of Directors agreed to lend and formed an ad hoc committee to ensure the 17-man Gilas pool will answer the call of national duty.
In the list released by the philstar.com, the 17-man who are considered as the strongest pool of Gilas includes the incarnates of the Philippine National team and they are June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Japheth Aguilar, LA Tenorio, Greg Slaughter, Marc Pings, and Ian Sangalang. From the SMC bloc; Calvin Abueva from Alaska, Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan from Rain or Shine; Jayson Castro, Matt Rosser-Ganuelas, Ryan Reyes, Troy Rosario, and Ranidel De Ocampo from Talk ’n Text; and Terrence Romeo from Global Port.
The final line-up of 12 players, including the naturalized players, shall named by the end of January 2016 as being agreed upon the meeting among SBP.
The ad hoc committee composed of PBA Governors Patrick Gregorio of Talk ’n Text, Atty. Mamerto Mondragon of Rain or Shine, Alfrancis Chua of Ginebra, and league’s Commissioner Chito Narvasa. The committee has been formed to ensure the participation of the players.
“We’re confident that because of this resolution, we will be able to participate,” Panlilio said in an interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer. Meanwhile, PBA Chairman Robert Non also cleared the PBA owners don’t have a problem with lending of players.
In support with the Gilas program for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament on July 5-10 next year, the PBA will adjust its calendar, delaying the upcoming Governor’s Cup.
The selected players were also allowed by PBA to attend the practice sessions once a week especially every Monday for 28 weeks starting from November 2015.
The SBP’s deadline of submitting the hosting bid and participation is on Oct. 19.
SBP will also spend out a minimum of 1.75 Million Euros (P91.4 Million) in hosting one of the three qualifiers.
Homecourt advantage and the Filipino crowd will help Gilas in battling other teams from other FIBA zones.
Among the countries who will pay for the Olympic qualifiers are New Zealand from Oceania, Angola, Tunisia and Senegal from Africa, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico from the Americans, France, Serbia, Greece, Italy and the Czech Republic from Europe, and the Philippines, Iran, and Japan from Asia.
“It will be a very difficult task to compete there but I think if we have full support of the PBA as we have shown in the board resolution, it gives the SBP more confidence to go all out and make sure we can compete,” Panlilio said to Philippine Daily Inquirer.