Here’s Chot Reyes’ plan for Gilas’ busy schedule in August

June 6, 2017 - 5:00 PM
PBA Media Bureau

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes has already come up with a plan regarding the players who will reinforce the two national squads that will compete in separate tournaments in August.

Reyes wants a squad composed mostly of PBA veterans for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup on August 15 to 27 in Lebanon, and a team beefed up by Gilas rookies for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games on August 19 to August 30 in Malaysia.

“Ang initial thinking ni Chot, if we follow the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement), the FIBA Asia Cup will be reinforced by the PBA veterans or combination and he’s thinking the SEA Games will be all-cadets lineup. That was just the plan,” Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio told InterAksyon.

According to Panlilio, Reyes has already made a list of players whom he wants to suit up for the two national teams.

“Chot submitted it to me already based on the agreement in the MOA. In fairness to him, he followed it, kung kelan puwedeng ma-release yung Cadets and kelan puwedeng ma-release yung PBA veterans,” Panlilio said.

Panlilio said SBP officials will meet PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa on Friday to discuss the matter.

As for the availability of naturalized player Andray Blatche, Panlilio said he’s not yet sure if he’ll be included in one of the lineups.

“I’ll have to leave it to Chot. But again, I don’t know personally the schedule of Andray Blatche if he will be available this August,” he said.

In the SEABA Championship last May, Gilas Pilipinas fielded a strong roster that featured veterans, including Blatche, and new faces to capture the country’s seventh title.

The FIBA Asia Cup, formerly the FIBA Asia Championship, is billed as the continent’s premier basketball tournament for national teams. But unlike in the past, it will not serve as a qualifier for the World Cup and the Olympics.

But it can serve as a buildup for Gilas Pilipinas’ FIBA World Cup qualifiers campaign which will begin in November.

Meanwhile, the SEA Games has been some sort of a playground for the Filipinos who have dominated ASEAN basketball. But officials aim to put up a formidable squad for the biennial meet this time after the country was pushed to the limit in 2015.