With FIBA changes looming, PBA reiterates full support for Gilas Pilipinas

While focus has been on Gilas Pilipinas’ preparation for the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament Manila leg this July, PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa said they are also finding ways to come out with a “win-win” solution come 2017 when the world’s governing body implements a new tournament calendar.

Narvasa recognized the “problematic schedule” of the FIBA calendar starting next year, but he believes the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is also coming out with a plan that would be acceptable for everyone.

“Malaking effect niyan (FIBA new calendar). Can you imagine every quarter (there’s a tournament)? That’s why ngayon, pinaga-aralan na namin ano dapat ang schedule din namin,” Narvasa told FOX Sports on Friday.

Read: SBP still hoping to get Jordan Clarkson for Gilas’ Olympic quest

Although the FIBA adjustments fall right under the lap of the SBP under president Manny V. Pangilinan, Narvasa reiterated the pro league’s commitment to support Gilas in whatever way it can.

“Marami pang other reasons we have to consider also and we have to find out also from SBP also kung ano yung plano nila (for Gilas),” stressed Narvasa.

“But at this point in time, depende iyan sa pagu-usap, that’s why ang concentration natin is yung Gilas sa qualifier muna,” he said.

“Pero 100% buong buo ang suporta natin sa Gilas.”

Based on FIBA’s new qualification system patterned after soccer’s FIFA and set to be implemented in 2017, the world’s governing basketball body will hold four home-and-away qualifiers in June, September, November and February to determine Asia’s representatives to the 2019 World Cup of basketball.

Read: Baldwin happy with more bodies in practice, talks about Sangalang absence

The new qualification system is expected to cause conflicting schedules with the PBA, given the pro league’s 3-conference setup that runs for roughly 9 months in a season.

Just recently, SBP deputy director for international affairs Butch Antonio told FOX Sports that they are in the process of reviving the Gilas cadet program with the new FIBA calendar in mind.

Collegiate standouts led by 2-time UAAP MVP Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Ferrer and Mac Belo are among the potential candidates for the Gilas cadet program. — By Richard Dy


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