Thursday, January 9, 2014

Chot Reyes to tap old Gilas Pilipinas pool for FIBA World Cup

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The composition of Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA World Championship in Spain late this year would depend on the period of time the national team would get for its training.

Gilas coach Chot Reyes hinted at sticking with his old pool if the PBA makes available its players to the national team only at the end of the 2013-2014 PBA season.

“As of now daily training starts Aug. 1. If that’s the case, no time to try new players for roster change,” said Reyes in answering a query on his Twitter account.

Actually, the 39th PBA season could stretch all the way to Aug. 11 if the 2014 Governors Cup title playoff reaches a deciding Game Seven. Meanwhile, the World Cup begins Aug. 30.

Having made major revisions in their calendar last season, PBA officials said they could no longer do the same for the current season.

So cramped is their schedule that they are holding a minimum of four playdates a week.

The PBAboard and Reyes will discuss the national team’s participation in the 2014 FIBA World Cup and the succeeding 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea in a meeting before the end of the month.

Part of the agreement would be the start of Gilas’ once-a-week practices.

“After February, but those are basically shooting drills and walk-throughs. Can’t go hard as players are still in-season,” Reyes also said on Twitter.

The Nationals start their practices after the World Cup draw set Feb. 3 in Spain.

As of now, confirmed to be part of the pool are Gilas’ Fighting 12 – plus reserve Beau Belga – in the last FIBA Asia Championship.

Gilas Pilipinas has signed up naturalized player Marcus Douthit to a new contract valid up to the 2014 Incheon Asiad.

Also in the roster are Jayson Castro, Jimmy Alapag, LA Tenorio, Larry Fonacier, Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, Gary David, Japeth Aguilar, Junmar Fajardo, Marc Pingris and Ranidel de Ocampo.

The question is whether Reyes would consider the addition of the likes of Greg Slaughter, Kelly Williams, Marcio Lassiter and Chris Lutz.

That could well be among the topics in Reyes’ meeting with the PBA board.

For the last Asian meet, the PBA board agreed to lend only one player per team to Gilas. Outside of Talk n Text which is owned by SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan, only Rain or Shine was the ball club that willingly released more than one player (Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood) to the national team.

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