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2021 FIBA Asia Cup

Will Gilas call up Abueva, Slaughter for November window?

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Tiebreaker Times Will Gilas call up Abueva, Slaughter for November window? 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  Tab Baldwin Greg Slaughter Gilas Pilipinas Men Calvin Abueva 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

Embattled superstars Calvin Abueva and Greg Slaughter have made it known that they are willing and ready to serve the country anytime. 

Abueva, who has been suspended by the PBA for a league-record 479 days and counting, expressed his desire to one day return to Gilas during an episode of 2OT.

“Iniisip ko sa pagbalik ko na makapaglaro ako ng maayos at mapasama ako uli sa Gilas kahit ano ang nangyari. Nandoon pa rin ang puso ko na makasama sa national team,” shared the 32-year-old, who last represented the country back in the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

On the other hand, Slaughter, who opted not to renew his contract with Ginebra last January, has been training in the States all for one goal — play for the Philippines again.

“Playing for the national team has always been a top priority for me,” he told SunStar Cebu.

“It’s something that I look forward to and want to be prepared for.”

Now, Gilas faces a dilemma as it heads into the second window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in two months.

If the schedule remains the same, the Philippines will take on South Korea on November 27 before facing Thailand on November 30 inside a bubble.

But at that time, the PBA will still be in the midst of its bubble season in Clark, Pampanga.

A team filled with Cadets would be the ideal situation but of course, it has to be backstopped by veterans.

That’s where Abueva and Slaughter can come in right? Well, it’s easier said than done.

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For Slaughter’s case, it will be much easier. One phone call from Gilas and a courtesy call to the brass of Ginebra will earn his clearance.

Tiebreaker Times Will Gilas call up Abueva, Slaughter for November window? 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  Tab Baldwin Greg Slaughter Gilas Pilipinas Men Calvin Abueva 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

The 7-foot, 32-year-old last played for Gilas back in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. There, he averaged 8.8 points on 65-percent shooting and 5.8 boards in four games played.

Abueva’s case is a little bit more complicated.

Tiebreaker Times Will Gilas call up Abueva, Slaughter for November window? 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Basketball Gilas Pilipinas News PBA  Tab Baldwin Greg Slaughter Gilas Pilipinas Men Calvin Abueva 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers

The enigmatic 6-foot-2 utility forward has already served his six-game suspension stemming from the Gilas-Boomers brawl. Currently, though, Abueva is still serving a different ban from the PBA.

Well, are the league and the federation not two separate entities? Not quite.

“Gilas is supported by the PBA right? So his suspension covers the national team’s games as well,” said a league official, under the condition of anonymity.

When asked about the potential of adding the two to the national team, Gilas Men’s program director Tab Baldwin could only offer a shrug.

“I really have no answer for those guys as they have PBA issues to resolve first.”

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