PBA Commissioner Salud to meet with MVP to plan Gilas Pilipinas' future
MANILA, Philippines - With national squad Gilas Pilipinas' international campaign winding down, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the country's basketball federation Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) are looking to assess the team's campaign and explore what can be done for the future.
PBA Commissioner Chito Salud said in a statement that he will meet with SBP head Manny V. Pangilinan to "exchange thoughts on what happened in Spain and Korea, in essence - to conduct a critical analysis."
"I will then do a round of consultations with our team owners to express gratitude for their support and share my views, as well as, solicit theirs," he said.
The PBA has offered its full support to the Gilas program since before the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, which paved the way for Gilas head coach Chot Reyes to borrow one player from each PBA team to form the roster. The PBA also further showed its support by squeezing the schedule for its 2013-2014 season to allow Gilas ample time to train for this year's World Cup.
"On that basis, we should arrive at a consensus on how best to pursue the program moving forward," Salud said.
The hope is for the PBA to continue its support of the program as Gilas looks ahead to the future - particularly for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, which will serve as qualifier for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
"We've all been positively encouraged by the improvements in our performance, but I know many expect more in our future outings. And rightfully so," Salud added.
Right after the conclusion of the 2014 PBA season, Gilas immediately competed in the FIBA Asia Cup in China last July where they clinched the bronze medal, the country's best finish in the tourney.
Gilas later exceeded expectations at the FIBA World Cup in Spain, nearly upsetting world powerhouse teams such as Argentina, Croatia and Puerto Rico before finally claiming the Philippines' first World Cup victory in 4 decades by defeating Senegal.
However, despite the high morale and blitzing momentum, Gilas was unable to ride the tide through the Asian Games in South Korea, where expectations were far higher as most hoped they could finally break the nation's 16-year medal drought.
The Philippines won the bronze medal at the Asiad in 1998 with Tim Cone's Centennial Team.
The heartbreak cut deeper for the sputtering nationals as they are about to set the country's worst finish in the Asian Games after losing to China on Monday, September 29 in the classification phase. The loss relegated Gilas to the battle for 7th place. Previously, the Philippines' worst Asian Games placing since the inclusion of pro players was at 6th in 2010.
Despite the disappointing finish, the Philippines can still take comfort in Gilas' efforts as the country improved 3 notches to 31st place in the FIBA world rankings.
This, among others, will be part of the discussions between the PBA and SBP as it looks to find ways to better the program and continue the improvement.
"This is how it should be: consolidate the gains and then chart a course so we exceed our current performance," Salud added. - Rappler.com