Sep 25, 2020

PBA's commitment of support to Gilas won't waver

CHANCES are PBA Season 46 won't start earlier than March as the pro league is committed to back Gilas Pilipinas in its international endeavor in February.

"Ang PBA team owners at ang PBA ay nanatiling committed na suportahan ang Gilas," said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial.

Part of the commitment is to make PBA players available to render service to the national team under the guidance of program director Tab Baldwin.

A few days ago, FIBA Asia announced it will adopt a bubble-type format for the next two windows of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers set November 2020 and February 2021 due to the health crisis.

It's a shift from the home-and-away format to bubble concept just like what the PBA is doing for the resumption of PBA Season 45 in Clark starting Oct. 11.

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The PBA Clark bubble play will run for about two months and a half, with the eventual champ to be crowned by the first or second week of December.

Asked of the PBA's participation to the Gilas schedule in November, the league commissioner said they have not heard about that from Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

"Ang binanggit sa amin ni SBP president Al Panlilio ay February, and we're committed to that. Walang pagbabago sa commitment ng PBA sa SBP at Gilas," said Marcial.

The PBA threw all out support as Gilas defended the country's SEAG crown before the home crowd at the MOA Arena last December.

Then RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, CJ Perez, Kiefer Ravena, Poy Erram, Abu Tratter and Justin Chua were PBA stalwarts who reinforced Gilas cadets as the Philippines thrashed Indonesia, 100-70, in its turf in Jakarta during the opening window of the qualifiers.

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The Philippines is slotted in Group A with Indonesia, Korea and Thailand. The top three will advance to the FIBA Asia Cup proper. (SB)