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MORE PLAYERS, TIME GIVEN TO GILAS PILIPINAS FOR FIBA ASIA JOUST

09:45 PM January 24, 2013

The Philippine Basketball Association has given national coach Chot Reyes elbow room to improve the composition of Gilas Pilipinas, and at the same time decided to further shorten the season-ending Governors’ Cup to give way to the Nationals’ buildup for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship set Aug. 1-11 at the MOA Arena.

The league’s Board of Governors agreed on these key matters in a meeting at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City Thursday.

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“The Board allowed coach Chot to revise the team if there’s the need. It’s his call,” said PBA commissioner Chito Salud.

Reyes has been given more latitude with all PBA teams mandated to lend at least one player each to Gilas Pilipinas.

“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 pointed out.

The Board, however, wants Reyes to name his final 12 plus two reserves right away.

Reyes had formed a big pool earlier with 10 becoming a part of the team that made a triumphant run in the 2012 Jones Cup in Taipei.

Players not in Taipei but likely to make the new team are San Mig Coffee’s Marc Pingris, Talk n Text’s Kelly Williams and Jayson Castro and either Junmar Fajardo or Arwind Santos of Petron.

“Coach Chot has the freedom to choose,” Board chairman Robert Non said.

At the same time, the league is revising its third conference format and schedule to give the Nationals more decent time to train for the Asian meet serving as the regional eliminator for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

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“We’re compressing it as much as practicable,” said Salud of the tourney originally set from May 12 to July 28, leaving the Nationals no time to prepare for the FIBA Asia event.

“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 pointed out.

“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. Details will follow,” he added. (SB)

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