09:36 PM February 5th, 2013

February 5th, 2013 09:36 PM

Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes is finally naming his final roster for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship Thursday after the PBA team owners made a decision, opening a period of two months for the national team to prepare for the regional meet set at the Mall of Asia Arena on Aug. 1-11.

“Obviously, I’m very happy. (A period of) two months is a lot better than two weeks. Three months is more ideal, but like I said two months is a lot better (than two weeks),” said Reyes on what PBA team owners have agreed upon.

SMC president Ramon Ang and the other club owners gave their nod for the postponement of the league’s season-ending tourney, giving way for two full months of unhampered training by the national team for the coming FIBA Asia Championship.

“They (the team owners) are all positive and they all agreed that we move the schedule of the third conference after the FIBA Asia Championship on Aug. 1-11,” said PBA commissioner Chito Salud after his phone conversations to the league bosses.

“In order to allow more playing time for members teams and avoid a long layoff between the two conferences (Commissioners and Governors Cups), they agreed to extend the second conference pattered after the Philippine Cup,” Salud also said.

“Instead of ending April 28, the second conference will end last week of May, thus giving the national team two full months of unhampered training,” Salud added.

Wilfred Uytengsu of Alaska, Mikee Romero of GlobalPort, Bert Lina of Air21, George Chua of Barako Bull and Terry Que and Raymund Yu of Rain or Shine just reiterated their full backing of the campaign of the Manny V. Pangilinan-led Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to bring the country back on the world basketball map.

The Nationals just need to make the top three in the coming regional meet to qualify for the global joust.

The national mentor is thankful to the team owners.

“We have two months. Let’s make the most of what’s given. Let’s pray for Team Philippines,” he said.

The league commissioner said Monday practices by Gilas Pilipinas are allowed as soon as coach Chot Reyes finalizes his lineup.

Reyes said he’ll do so Thursday after one final meeting with the commissioner.

“I want to know if they’re sticking with the one-player-per-team policy. The final roster will depend on it,” he said.

Surely to be given high consideration were those players who played in the Jones Cup and the FIBA Asia Cup.

Also in the radar of Reyes are Talk n Text players Kelly Williams, Jayson Castro, Jimmy Alapag, San Mig Coffee’s Marc Pingris, Petron Blaze’s Junmar Fajardo and Gilas cadet player Greg Slaughter. (SB)

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