THE Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) would soon be naming the players that it wants to include in the upcoming Gilas Pilipinas pool for the third and final window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers.
In a virtual press conference on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, SBP president Al Panlilio said he would be working hand in hand with program director Tab Baldwin to come up with a list of players that would be included in the pool, from which a final roster will be formed for the qualifying games that will be held on Feb. 18-21, 2021 in Clark, Pampanga.
“The ball is in my court. I need to work with coach Tab. Hopefully by next week, I could give Commissioner Willie (Marcial) some names on the request for PBA players to be part of that bubble for the February window,” said Panlilio.
Marcial, meanwhile, said that the pro league has no problem with that so long as the players will agree.
“Nag-usap kami ni President Al nung isang araw regarding sa lineup. Sabi ko sabihin agad para masabihan yung mga players kasi nga nagbabakasyon. Basta okay sa mga players, wala na problema,” said Marcial.
After sending a team composed of special Gilas draftees and collegiate stars in the second window, the SBP is bent on sending a team that will have pro players integrated into it, especially since the Gilas will be facing off against tougher competition in the third window.
The Gilas will face off against longtime rivals South Korea twice and will also have a game against the much-improved Indonesia.
“We want to use this event to develop the young players and bring in the veterans and have games to play them together so we become a better team down the road,” expressed Panlilio. (JNP)