Asian Games still a go for Romeo, banned Gilas players
MANILA, Philippines – There will be no trouble in the 2018 Asian Games.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said 5 of the 10 suspended Gilas players can still see action in the Asian Games next month as the FIBA ban only covers the games in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
The Asian Games lineup – reinforced by 5 Gilas players, including 4 from the Talk 'N Text core – will remain intact for the upcoming continental tournament in Jakarta.
"I think if you look at the decision it's very clear it says 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers," said SBP president Al Panlilio during a press conference on Thursday, July 19.
Gilas' naturalized player Andray Blatche and 4 TNT players – Terrence Romeo, Roger Pogoy, Troy Rosario and Jayson Castro – all got slapped with suspensions for figuring in the infamous brawl that marred the FIBA World Cup Asia qualifier match between the Philippines and Australia last July 2 at the Philippine Arena.
SBP executive director Sonny Barrios cited similar situations in the past, such as the brawl that erupted betwen Serbia and Greece in 2010.
"Sinuspindi yung mga players. Ano naman cinover ng mga suspensions? World Cup games, Olympic games, Zonal games. That’s my first reason na bakit hindi ko iniisip na sasakupin nila ang PBA and Asian Games," explained Barrios.
(The players were suspended. What did the suspensions cover? World Cup games, Olympic games, Zonal games. That's my first reason on why I didn't think they would include the PBA and Asian Games.)
"May sariling mundo ang Asian Games (The Asian Games stands apart from FIBA) ," added Barrios. "And only for those two reasons sa personal ko na wag matakot diyan (And for those two reasons, personally, I don't think we should be scared)."
Within the prescribed 14-day appeal period, the national federation intends to clarify some points in FIBA's decision before proceeding with the formal appeal.
"We did have our position paper submitted to them last July 13, we just want to make sure they considered those points and we're on the same page. From there, we'll assess whether we'll proceed on the formal appeal," said Panlilio.
The Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games will take place from August 18 to September 2. – Rappler.com