Major leagues adjust to give Gilas 3-month World Cup buildup - Chot

August 5 ------ GILAS Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes assured that the national team will have the best players possible after receiving full support from the stakeholders including the major leagues in the country from the professional to the collegiate level.

Reyes met with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas board and its stakeholders during a meeting where he laid out his plans in the lead-up to the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup. In the meeting, Reyes and Gilas got the full backing of the various leagues in the country in the PBA, UAAP, and the NCAA with the support includes adjusting their schedules for the national team. The PBA had already stated that it will push back the opening of the 48th season to September 2023 or after the World Cup which the country is hosting.

Reyes declined to divulge the specifics of the plans and programs except that the leagues are all in for the full three-month buildup for the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup. “We are allowing the PBA and all the leagues to finish already their tournaments to make sure na next year, mabigyan tayo ng four months,” said Reyes. “The PBA will end in April, tamang tama before the SEA Games. After the SEA Games, magpapahinga lang sandali and then the final pool of maybe 18 to 20 players will go on a full three-month training program, training preparation until the World Cup begins late August. Those are the outline of the program. ‘Yung actual na laman nun, we are not at liberty to divulge but that’s where we stand right now,” said Reyes.

Reyes once again asked for patience from the general public after Gilas suffered unimpressive performances in the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi last May and the Fiba Asia Cup just recently. Once all the leagues have finished their tournaments, Reyes will have at his disposal all the players for the World Cup. “Tiis-tiisin lang natin ‘yung mga ngayon, ‘yung mga problema natin currently. At least, tinatapos na lahat ng liga ang schedules so that we are looking at 2023. Meron tayong three months of solid preparation and then, by then, we will have the best team. Alam niyo naman ang team, hindi lang naman players ‘yun. It includes preparation and practice. I’m just asking for patience, support, and understanding of everyone na kahit hindi masyadong maganda performance natin, we are still going all out,” Reyes said.

The SBP is doing moves that will hope to beef up Gilas Pilipinas with the appointment of San Miguel sports director Alfrancis Chua as an executive advisor to the national team and the federation. Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone has also come aboard as a member of the coaching staff where he will sit down with the rest of the staff to determine the pool for the August window of the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asia qualifiers. Cone is expected to join the team for the matches against Lebanon on August 25 and Saudi Arabia on August 29.