The ball is now in the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ court.
PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas on Tuesday said that the league is always open to accommodating Gilas Pilipinas whenever it wants to see action in the league as part of its preparations for upcoming tournaments overseas.
“The invitation has always been there. Always open,” he said in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum webcast.
“And we welcome that, especially to be able to see ‘yung Gilas team natin na maglaro sa PBA.”
The league, last February, said that it wants to have the new-age Filipino cagers as a guest team for its first conference. This is part of their commitment to helping the Gilas program in ways they can – as they’ve been doing ever since.
That, however, didn’t materialize. But there’s still another opportunity for the young Nationals to play against tougher competition. The PBA will kick-start the import-laced Governors’ Cup later this November.
The timing seems right for the program as it would be of great help in gearing up for the major tourneys ahead. These include the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, the Southeast Asian Games, and later on the prestigious Asian Games.
It isn’t the first time that the league opened its doors to Gilas. Its pioneering batch, mentored by Rajko Toroman, first saw action in the 2009-10 Philippine Cup. Then it returned for the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup.
Still, Vargas told the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, Daily Tribune, and PAGCOR that the league has yet to hear anything from the federation.
But then again, the invitation is and will always be open, he said.
“Sa ngayon, wala pa kaming naririnig sa SBP,” said Vargas, himself the former vice chairman of the Samahan currently headed by his fellow PBA Board member Al Panlilio.
“But yung offer na ‘yun, laging andun.”