Mendoza: Timely, momentous move

Al Mendoza
·2 min read

In a stunning spin, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) governors decided to stop shipping their players to the national team aka Gilas Pilipinas each time a global tournament comes up.

About time they did it.

So, no more PBA cagers to both the Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers in June and to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in August.

Good for both the PBA players and the league.

Finally, they knocked some sense into their heads over this gnawing notion that we could really hit the big time by tossing in PBA players to the Gilas squad.

No way, Jose.

Much as we really want to fly high in international wars, we just can’t do that. It’s been painfully that way long before the pension plan was invented.

The late PBA Commissioner Rudy Salud had taken this to heart that’s why he refused lending PBA players to the national team when the league was under his watch.

For, indeed, it’s true. How many times has it been said—correctly—that we don’t have the ceiling on the world stage?

It’s been an aberration all this time on how we approach the game, whose enduringly indestructible motto, “height is might,” we keep ignoring for the longest time.

Somehow, the Covid-19 pandemic has helped put things right.

By denying Gilas the use of professional players, the PBA can now smoothen out its own virus-vexed schedule the last six months or so.

As has been its sorry experience, the league loaning players to Gilas Pilipinas has continually disrupted PBA directions, let alone its teams’ growth.

Even the PBA’s season-long schedule itself gets screwed up one way or the other as the loop tries to get in sync with Gilas’s overseas battles.

And, yes, PBA players themselves are reduced to zombies with their battered bodies having to be reinserted into their mother teams after their tour of duty with Gilas.

Exhaustion plus mental fatigue equals deterioration of efficiency.

We can’t win in Fiba biggies. The Olympics is but an unreachable dream.

So, why the hell do we continue giving importance to both?

It’s enough that we send our Gilas cadets/amateurs there. Commitment fulfilled should be the norm toward foreign missions. Not winning.