SBP hosts crucial meeting

Coming up with a rock-solid team for the 2023 FIBA World Cup will be the main objective when the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) meets its stakeholders today in Makati.

SBP president Al Panlilio yesterday said they are expected to meet the representatives of various basketball leagues in the country in a closed-door meeting at 11 a.m. to discussion their preparations for the World Cup that the country will co-host with Indonesia and Japan next year.

The federation, for one, is looking to come up with a commitment from its stakeholders so that they can assemble the strongest, most competitive team that will represent the country in the world’s biggest basketball event outside the Olympics.

Expected to grace the high-level meeting are representatives of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

Representatives from the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc., the biggest basketball league in the Visayas, are also expected to show up.

“Of course, all stakeholders of basketball will be there, all regional heads and the major leagues like PBA, UAAP and NCAA among others,” Panlilio said.

Manpower woes have been hounding Gilas Pilipinas.

With most of its players striking deals abroad, Gilas Pilipinas had a tough time assembling a roster that can put up a good fight against the best teams in Asia.

In fact, the Filipinos had already lost their invincibility in the Southeast Asian Games as they lost the gold medal to Indonesia while being battered heavily in the third window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers and the FIBA Asia Cup recently.

All in all, Gilas posted a very disappointing 3-11 win-loss record in their past 14 international matches with all their victories coming from India — a young and rebuilding squad.

Gilas Pilipinas’ flop in the international stage had sparked an outcry within the local basketball community with sideliners calling for the ouster of head coach Chot Reyes as well as a revamp of the national team program.

Panlilio said the battle is still far from over so they have to secure commitments from various stakeholders to make sure that Gilas will be competitive in the upcoming Asian qualifiers windows in August, November and February as well as the SEA Games in Cambodia in May next year.

SBP already expressed its concern in the November window as PBA players and collegiate players might not be available and might result in a manpower shortage going to the qualifiers once more.

“The August (qualifiers) I think we have a plan on how to approach that. Our major problem will be the November (window), when the tournaments are ongoing,” Panlilio said.
“PBA, UAAP and NCAA, including also the players in Japan having their tournament. That will be a challenge for us.”

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