PBA, SBP open to suggestions, keep communication lines open

League commissioner Chito Narvasa reiterated the PBA’s commitment to help Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas find a “permanent solution” as far as the formation of future national teams is concerned.

Narvasa is coming off a meeting on Wednesday night with Al Panlilio, head of the MVP Sports Foundation, who is tipped to succeed SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan.

“Ang maganda sa naging usapan namin is we’re both open to coming up with a permanent solution for the national team. We don’t just want to think of a band-aid solution or patch-up,” Narvasa told FOX Sports on Thursday.

The first-year PBA commissioner said he and Panlilio have actually agreed to keep an open line of communications from here on. They are also open to suggestions coming from the PBA board and even basketball fans.

“We’re open to any options at this point, even opinion of the fans, we’re open to that because for us, the more ideas we have, the better,” said Narvasa.

Panlilio seconded Narvasa’s statement.

“We put on the table all options considering all suggestions,” Panlilio said in an official statement released to the press.

“We both want to come up with a sustainable program moving forward good for both the national team and the PBA especially with the challenging new calendar of the FIBA tournaments,” shared the MVP Sports Foundation executive, who also serves as Meralco board governor in the PBA.

Narvasa said he and Panlilio also agreed to seek the wisdom of the (PBA) board as we find the permanent solution.”

The former PBA coach-turned-commissioner said the issue on future Gilas teams will be tackled extensively on the league’s board meeting on June 30 at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City.

The initial meeting between Narvasa and Panlilio was borne out of the SBP’s recent announcement that it is reviving the original Gilas cadet program that was first handled by Serbian coach Rajko Toroman in 2009.

Eyed for the planned revival of the Gilas cadet program are top amateur standouts led by Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Ferrer, Mac Belo, Jio Jalalon, Roger Pogoy and Russell Escoto.

The PBA Rookie Draft though will be affected by the program’s revival since majority of the top rookie candidates are expected to join the Gilas cadets.

Since the FIBA is set to implement a new home-and-away format starting 2017, the participation of PBA players has been put in doubt given the 9-month long season calendar for pro league. – By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava