PBA to hold Board meeting to discuss Gilas at Olympic Qualifier
MANILA, Philippines — The PBA Board of Governors is set to hold a "special" meeting Wednesday, October 14 to discuss issues relating to the Philippine national men's basketball team Gilas Pilipinas.
Incumbent Chairman Robert Non called for the meeting, PBA President and CEO Chito Salud said during the press conference for the league's 41st season on Tuesday, October 13 at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.
"I don't want to preempt the governors," Salud said when asked whether or not the PBA will lend out players to the national team for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
"The chairman has already called for a formal special board meeting tomorrow. One topic: Gilas. Let's leave it at that so as not to preempt our Board of Governors what their sentiments are."
Among issues likely to be discussed include loaning players and adjusting league schedule.
The pro league has been under fire since the conclusion of the 40th season in July with several PBA players pulling out of the national team due to injury, fatigue, or personal reasons, which caused a setback for Gilas as it prepared for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in China.
Among those who begged off from the team due to various reasons are back-to-back PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, plus guards LA Tenorio and Paul Lee.
The issue hit a fever pitch when outgoing president of local basketball federation Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) admitted he is considering not participating in the Olympic Qualifier due to the strong likelihood pro players may not be available.
However, basing on Chapter VI of the FIBA Internal Regulations Book 2, the Philippines is required to send a team to compete or else face sanctions that may be disciplinary or financial in nature. (READ: Gilas Pilipinas bound by FIBA rules to join Olympic Qualifier)
It has also been reported that Pangilinan is considering pulling out his PBA team Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters to compete in the tournament.
The qualifier, which will take place from July 5 to 16 in 3 different cities around the world, clashes with the season-ending PBA Governors' Cup.
Gilas was relegated to the Olympic Qualifier after it fell short of its gold medal goal and settled for silver in the FIBA Asia tilt. Iran and Japan, which finished in the final four as well, will also play in the tournament, while gold medalist China gained the outright berth for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. — Rappler.com