Asian Games: Retooled Gilas squad still an option
MANILA, Philippines – A retooled Gilas Pilipinas squad remains an option in the 2018 Asian Games.
Although Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) said the FIBA suspension won’t cover the Asian Games, fielding the Rain or Shine players instead of the TNT core in the continental event remains a possibility.
Following talks with PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, Rain or Shine co-owner Raymond Yu said on Thursday, July 19, that the team is open to lend the Elasto Painters for the Asiad.
"Kinausap ako ni commissioner Willie. Anytime naman there’s a chance for Rain or Shine players to play for flag and country, okay naman kami. We’ve always been supportive."
(Commissioner Willie talked to me. Anytime there is a chance for Rain or Shine players to play for flag and country, we are okay with it. We've always been supportive.)
"Nothing is set in stone yet," Yu added.
SBP had beefed up the Asian Games Gilas team by adding naturalized player Andray Blatche and 4 TNT players – Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, Roger Pogoy and Terrence Romeo – to the lineup.
Although SBP president Al Panlilio believes these players are still a go for the Asiad, he previously said the SBP and the PBA are also considering sending another team.
Pogoy will serve a 5-game suspension while Blatche, Castro, Rosario and Romeo will sit out 3 international games for figuring in the Philippines-Australia melee. (READ: 10 Gilas players suspended, SBP fined for FIBA brawl)
Yu said the team welcomed the idea to support the national squad but noted there are still things they "need to iron out."
"We're willing but you have to understand that the competition in the Asian Games is mataas din 'yan (high)," Yu told reporters after the Elasto Painters tied their best-of-5 semifinals series against Barangay Ginebra.
"Syempre worried din kami. Gusto namin if we’re going to go there, 'yung team na panlaban talaga na di mapapahiya 'yung bansa."
(Of course we are worried. If we are going to go there, we want a team that can win, that the country will not be embarrassed.)
The Asian Games will be held in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2. –Rappler.com