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PBA waiting for SBP decision on first batch of Gilas draftees

The PBA is simply waiting word from Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) regarding the eligibility of Gilas Pilipinas draftees from 2019.

Those selected from that special proceeding will see the expiration of their respective contracts with the national team program on January 31. However, negotiations for renewal are ongoing.

But if they cannot come to an agreement, then the players could join their mother teams, pending clearance from the federation.

“Basta ‘pag sinabi ng SBP na pwede na ‘yang player na ‘yan sa inyo, o kung okay na maglaro sa PBA, okay na kami,” PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial told the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, Tuesday.

Five cagers were chosen in that special draft. Isaac Go went to Terrafirma at no. 1, followed by Rey Suerte (Blackwater), Matt Nieto (NLEX), Allyn Bulanadi (Alaska), and Mike Nieto (Rain or Shine).

The former collegiate standouts have seen action for Gilas numerous times after the draft, particularly in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers. There, the Filipino cagers finished with an immaculate 6-0 record.

Go and Mike Nieto were part of the crew that played in the prestigious 2021 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia.

Marcial said that the Gilas draftees are definitely welcome to play in the PBA. Still, again, the league needs formal word from the SBP to avoid conflict.

“Kailangan meron lang communication sa’min ag SBP na pwede ‘tong player na ‘to maglaro sa PBA,” he told the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, MILO, Amelie Hotel, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR.

“Kasi baka ina-asume lang namin na pwede, yun pala kailangan pa nila. ‘Yun ang mahirap,” he added, as Gilas has itself a busy schedule ahead this 2022 with tournaments like the SEA Games, the Asia Cup, and the Asian Games

“Pero oras na sinabi samin ng SBP na pwede ‘yang player na yan, welcome yan. Ilalaro namin – ibibigay agad namin sa team.”

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Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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