MANILA – The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has given national team coach Chot Reyes a free hand in assembling the Gilas Pilipinas lineup for the 27th FIBA Asia Championship.
PBA chief Chito Salud said the league's Board of Governors has allowed Reyes to revise the current Gilas roster by picking his choice of players from any PBA club.
“My proposal is one player per team in the spirit of broad and equitable representation. An addendum is if a team is willing to lend one or more players, go ahead. And if in the judgment of the coach, he doesn’t need a player from any team, so be it,” Salud said in the PBA website.
Salud, however, said the board wants Reyes to name the 12-man team, plus two reserves, right away.
Reyes already has a pool of players including Meralco’s JayR Reyes and Ronjay Buenafe, Air21’s KG Canaleta, 6’9” Fil-Am player Isaac Holstein, cadet players Justin Melton, Matt Ganuelas, Garvo Lanete, Greg Slaughter, RR Garcia, Kevin Alas, Ronald Pascual, Jake Pascual, and naturalized Filipino Marcus Douthit.
Other players who might be included in the lineup are San Mig Coffee’s Marc Pingris, Talk n Text’s Kelly Williams and Jayson Castro, and Junmar Fajardo and Arwind Santos of Petron.
The PBA earlier announced that it is cutting short the format of the season ending Governors’ Cup to give way to Gilas’ preparations for the tournament.
“We’re compressing it as much as practicable,” said Salud.
The Governors’ Cup was originally set from May 12 to July 28.
“This schedule had been compressed already by the PBA after consultation with the SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) and the national team leaders after we were given the impression that the FIBA qualifying tournament will start at the end of August or first week of September,” Salud said.
“Now it turns out the FIBA tournament will start on August 1, so now, our July 28 will seem impractical so we will (again) shorten the schedule.”