Apr 28, 2021

Gilas to be featured in Philippine Cup

IF PBA Season 46 gets to take off late May or early June, the youth-laden Gilas Pilipinas will be a special feature in the Philippine Cup, playing at least eight to 10 games.

"Gusto nga sana namin regular (competitor) na pwedeng mag-champion," said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial of the league's desire to help the Nationals prepare for their stints in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers and succeeding Olympic qualifying tournament.

"Pero syempre depende rin sa practices nila at overall program (which might include) training abroad," added Marcial during the PSA Online Forum Tuesday.

If ever, the PBA would hold triple-headers, with Gilas featured in the curtain-raisers in tune-ups versus the PBA ball clubs.

"Ganon pa rin ang schedule - Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Triple-headers pag may laro ang Gilas," said Marcial on their targeted May or June kickoff of the Philippine Cup that they hope to be given approval by the government.

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At posting time, the league commissioner and Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua were to meet Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Sen. Bong Go in Malacanang for a dialogue.

Meanwhile, the PBA-backed Gilas pool has resumed training in bubble set-up at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Mike and Matt Nieto, Jordan Heading, William Navarro, Tzaddy Rangel and Jaydee Tungcab, draftees in PBA Gilas special drafts, are part of the pool gearing up for the Asia Cup qualifiers on June 16-20 in Clark and the succeeding OQT in Serbia nine days later.

The PBA has had a number of tournaments featuring the national team as a guest squad.

The Ron Jacobs-mentored NCC Philippine team had had the most number of tournament appearances, twice placing third before going all the way to winning the championship in the 1985 Reinforced Conference.

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And it had its great run in the international front. (SB)