Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) continues to talk to FIBA regarding the longstanding issue of eligibility rules for players.
President Al Panlilio said that he’s been discussing the matter, although informally, with the governing body. The SBP hopes to have more Fil-foreigners acknowledged as locals in FIBA-sanctioned meets.
“We’re working very hard on that,” he told Radyo5’s Power and Play with Kom Noli Eala.
“Sec-Gen Andreas (FIBA secretary general Andreas Zagklis) is very aware of that issue with us, and we’ve been communicating — not formally.
“He knows the issues that we’re bringing to the table, but it has been an issue that needs a lot of discussions still with FIBA,” he added.
FIBA requires players to acquire a passport before the age of 16 in order to suit up for the national team.
It is why Utah Jazz sixth man Jordan Clarkson and PBA stars Christian Standhardinger, Stanley Pringle, Chris Ross, and Mo Tautuaa could not suit up for Gilas Pilipinas as locals.
Previously, Standhardinger and Pringle suited up for the Philippine team as naturalized players. At the time, Yeng Guiao was at the helm for Gilas during the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in 2018.
Clarkson, on the other hand, played as a local in the 2018 Asian Games since the controversial ruling didn’t apply. The same goes for Ross and Tautuaa in the 30th Southeast Games in Manila back in 2019.
But even if Zagklis understands the situation, it won’t be easy for that change to take place. Panlilio said that FIBA is looking for a solution not just for the Philippines, but for the benefit of all member nations as well.
“When you talk to FIBA, although it has a negative impact on the Philippines, they’re really looking at 120 countries where they have to find a solution on an issue that happened many years ago,” he said.
“They understand our situation.”