Former Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan on Wednesday called on Gilas Pilipinas to win the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship in March. The Philippines must rule the meet to enter the FIBA Asia Championship.
“We will hopefully be better and should be better to win the SEABA tournament next year and qualify for the FIBA Asia,” Pangilinan told The Manila Times. “So far the players are still playing in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) and we’re not starting the preparation yet.”
“I hope to sit down with Coach Chot (Reyes) to discuss the preparation.”
The exact date and venue of the 2017 SEABA tournament is yet to be announced.
Pangilinan also mentioned the need to fortify the national team with naturalized players.
“We need at least two candidates for naturalization just in case the other player gets injured,” said Pangilinan. “The process of naturalization is very long so we have to remind coach Chot now.”
Gilas so far has one naturalized player—the 6’10 Andray Blatche, who is presently playing in a Chinese league.
The current Gilas Pilipinas pool is composed of pros from the PBA namely Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort, JC Intal of Phoenix, Sonny Thoss and Dodon Hontiveros of Alaska, Ranidel De Ocampo of Talk ‘N Text and Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine.
Cadet players Jio Jalalon, Mike Tolomia, Mac Belo, Matthew Wright, Ponso Gotladera, Von Pessumal, Ed Daquioag, Russell Escoto, Roger Pogoy, Kevin Ferrer, Carl Bryan Cruz, Almond Vosotros, Jonathan Grey, Paul Desiderio and Jett Manuel support them.