GILAS NO LONGER INVITED TO JONES CUP
Concern for the safety of Gilas Pilipinas members prompted the organizing Chinese Taipei Basketball Association Monday night to cancel its invitation to the Philippine national team to defend its crown in the 2013 William Jones Cup in July.
“Di maubos ang problema ng Gilas,” rued national coach Chot Reyes, saying their non-participation in the Jones Cup is a big blow to their buildup for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships in August.
“We have to find a replacement tournament as the Jones Cup is an integral part of our preparation,” Reyes pointed out.
The Jones Cup organizers informed Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas of their decision in a letter to SBP president Manny V. Pangilinan.
“Di pwedeng puro practice lang. Kailangan makahanap ng kapalit na tournament. Ang problema di natin alam kung saan,” said Reyes.
The Taipei cage federation cancelled its invite to Gilas Pilipinas amid tension between the Philippines and Chinese Taipei over the death of a Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters.
The Nationals were to defend the crown they won last year, ending a 14-year title-drought in the Taipei tournament traditionally serving as the tune-up tourney to FIBA Asia events.
The cream of the crop in the region, except China, competes in the Jones Cup.
“Importante ang Jones Cup kasi doon mo makikita ang mga makakalaban natin sa FIBA Asia Championship,” said Reyes.
The 2013 Jones Cup is slated in July, two weeks before the FIBA Asia Championship set Aug. 1-11 in Manila.
It is supposed to be Gilas’ only other international trip outside of its two-week Lithuanian training in June where the Nationals get to play six tune-up matches with Lithuanian pro teams. (SB)
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