Photo from FIBA
SBP President Al Panlilio called on the stakeholders to unite and ensure that the national team will field its best possible lineup next year as they are set to meet on August 1.
The call came after Gilas suffered a series of disappointments in FIBA Asia Cup 2022 and the second and third windows of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Panlilio said the lack of training time and player availability are issues that must be addressed ahead of a busy calendar where the national team is expected to play in three more windows in August, November and February as well as the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in May and the World Cup in August next year.
“As FIBA secretary-general Andreas Zagklis mentioned, it’s been nearly 25 years since Greece hosted a world basketball event. We really have to give it full support from all basketball stakeholders,” said Panlilio.
“The World Cup will never happen again in Manila in our lifetime. It took 45 years to bring the World Cup back to Manila, dapat laban na, all out na. We need the best to play and be allowed to play. We call on all stakeholders to unite for the flag and country,” PBA chairman Ricky Vargas echoed.
Jordan Clarkson is sure to play for Gilas in the World Cup and also expected to play in the fourth window while the federation is still reaching out to Kai Sotto for his availability in future tournaments.
Panlilio also added that FIBA will assist in securing clearance for Gilas players who are playing in foreign leagues like the Korean Basketball League and Japan B.League.
However, player availability might hound Gilas with college and PBA players not available in the fifth and sixth windows. The PBA, meanwhile, is set to play only two conferences next year and clear its calendar starting in May up to the end of the World Cup, allowing PBA players to join the three-month buildup for the global showpiece.
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