Friday, October 9, 2015
SBP says Gilas Pilipinas needs 'full PBA backing'
If the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) can ensure its full support, then the new Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) leadership may send a Philippine team to the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year.
Outgoing SBP president Manny Pangilinan admitted that they have been reluctant to send an undermanned squad to compete in the Olympic qualifier next year, especially after the PBA failed to provide all the players the national squad needed during the recent FIBA Asia Championship.
“Hindi ko naman sinasabing 'no' pero let’s be realistic,” said Pangilinan in Reuben Terreado’s report in SPIN.
“Ngayon, kung ang bagong liderato ng SBP is mas mabango sa PBA, sabihin ko na ‘yun, na mas kung puwede pang palakasin ‘yung ating team for next year, eh ‘di fine, let’s get down with it.”
Although coach Tab Baldwin was able to make a competitive team out of "Gilas 3.0," the SBP had a difficult time forming the squad as some players begged off from national duties.
This was despite the assurance of the PBA that it will be providing full backing to the Gilas Pilipinas program.
The players who didn't join this year's national team include San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter, Barangay Ginebra's LA Tenorio, and Rain or Shine's Jeffrey Chan and Paul Lee.
Pangilinan earlier announced his “retirement” from SBP after some stakeholders of the basketball federation complained about arbitrarily deciding to forego the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament.
Pangilinan said he wants to give way to a new leadership as his term already ended in February.
The sports patron is no longer qualified to run as he has already served two terms as SBP president. The charter drafted by the basketball federation, which replaced the Basketball Association of the Philippines, limits its president to two straight terms.
"I don't want to violate the rules that we have crafted," Pangilinan said in a press conference as quoted by the Philippine Star. "It's for the best that I retire."
The SBP will hold a special assembly in January 2016 to elect a new set of officials.
Pangilinan also explained his reluctance to send a Gilas squad to the Olympic qualifying tourney where national teams will compete. The teams will be divided into three tournaments of six teams each.
“Dapat intindihin niyo na ang makakalaban natin sa July 2016 are strong basketball nations. Serbia, Puerto Rico, Greece, France, etc. Tatanawin natin ng utang ng loob ‘yung 2015 Gilas team para bang kung gagawin natin ang cultural trait, rerespetuhin natin ‘yung kanilang pinagsilbihan, it will be the same team for 2015,” said Pangilinan.
“But let’s manage expectations. Matibay talaga ang kalaban doon. Ayoko naman mag-raise ng expectations ang mga tao na makakapasok tayo whereas if we know that our chance of getting in is slim to Rio now, with this same team, the chances are rather slim. Kaya ako reluctant.”