Gilas Pilipinas remains very much a part of the PBA’s plans despite the cloud of uncertainties floating above the league due to the ongoing pandemic.
Commissioner Willie Marcial hopes that the youth-laden Nationals will get to see action in the much-anticipated Season 46 even for just a number of games. The league maintains its commitment to help the program however it can.
“Mga ilang games lang. Siguro mga eight or ten games lang, o baka lesser pa,” he told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, Tuesday.
“Hindi katulad nung gusto natin na mabuo nila, na pwede sila mag-champion. Parang silip lang sila.”
The PBA initially wanted to see Gilas play in the first conference of the new season where it is eligible to win a title. Unfortunately, time constraints have made the league and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas rethink their plans.
Just this Monday, the Filipino dribblers re-entered Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba to resume their preparations for two upcoming tournaments.
Those include the long-delayed 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ third window from June 14-20 at the Clark Freeport in Pampanga; and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia set on June 29-July 4.
After the OQT, in Gilas’ schedule are the Asia Cup proper; the first window of the World Cup Qualifiers; and the Southeast Asian Games, later in the year.
Much as the league hopes to see Gilas compete against some of the PBA’s finest, Marcial said that it would also depend on the national team’s plans, given the stacked schedule it has on its calendar.
“Depende rin ‘yun sa kanilang practices at kung ano ‘yung programa nila,” he told the weekly session powered by SMART and presented by San Miguel Corp., MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR.
Still, the league would still want the original plan to push through, where the new age Filipino dribblers will take part in a conference.
“Oo, gusto namin ‘yun. Regular, na pwede sila mag-champion Okay sa’min ‘yun.”