Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is not that worried whatsoever over the fact that only six PBA players are in Gilas Pilipinas’ pool for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ third window next month in Clark, Pampanga.
Kiefer Ravena, CJ Perez, Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Justin Chua, and first-timer Raul Soyud are the only pros in the national team at present, as some of those in the federation’s wishlist begged off.
Their reasons behind such were mostly due to the injuries they suffered back in the PBA Clark bubble play. And the SBP, according to Special Assistant to the President Ryan Gregorio, very much understands them.
“All the reasons presented to us were pretty much acceptable,” he told Power and Play hosted by Noli Eala, Saturday. “Some of them are stuck in the US; the others are nursing injuries; the others have medical emergencies.
“When you get invited, it is purely voluntary in nature. Meaning, if you have reasons, we’re not gonna dive into it, we’re not gonna analyze it too much. We’re gonna move forward right away.”
Seventeen men are currently training at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba. The aforementioned six are with the Cadets that saw action in the previous ACQ window last November held in Manama, Bahrain.
Joining the pros are Nieto twins Matt and Mike, Gomez De Liano brothers Juan and Javi, Rey Suerte, Dave Ildefonso, Justine Baltazar, Calvin Oftana, Kemark Carino, and new PBA Draft applicant William Navarro.
However, the pros are just a few months off from being locked in a bubble because of the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.
The earliest to leave Clark were NLEX, NorthPort, Blackwater, and Terrafirma last November 13. Last to leave were Ginebra and TNT on December 10.
All 12 PBA teams return to most probably another bubble set-up on April 9.
That is why Gregorio is hoping that fans don’t crucify the pros for not being part of this window.
“Ang sinasabi ko nga parati, let us not discuss the players who are not in the bubble, but rather let us talk about players who are in the bubble who are making huge sacrifices personally.”