PBA aims to help Gilas anew

The Philippine Basketball Association is now taking steps to help Gilas Pilipinas in its preparation for the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers in November.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said he is set to discuss matters with the board of governors for the possibility of loaning pro cagers for national duty on 10 and 13 November.

Marcial said it will be a pretty tight timeline to lend players as the window will coincide with the Commissioner’s Cup that will open on 21 September.

The league chief also clarified that they will not take a two-week break to give way for the Nationals’ preparation, contrary to what Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes previously said.

“I clarified it to Chot. We will tackle it on the board because they do not know about it yet,” Marcial told Daily Tribune Thursday.

“They (board) still have to know the exact proposal. We might lend them some players but we will not stop the tournament.”

The PBA has largely taken part in Gilas campaigns this year.

First, the league allowed deploying the core of TNT Tropang Giga in the February window of the qualifiers.

PBA stars like June Mar Fajardo, Poy Erram, Roger Pogoy and Matthew Wright also saw action on Gilas’ sorry silver-medal finish in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi in May.

They also allowed the Gilas management to select players from 10 non-finalist teams to join the national pool for the recently-concluded fourth window.

Bannered by Jordan Clarkson and Kai Sotto, the PBA was represented well by stalwarts Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar, Calvin Oftana, Chris Newsome and Jaime Malonzo.

Still, Marcial vowed to exhaust all efforts to help Gilas field a strong lineup in the upcoming tourney.

“If their first game is on November 10, then it’s around mid-elimination here. We cannot afford to stop that,” Marcial said.

“We just have to bring that up to the board.”

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