Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Chairman Emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan has tasked Gilas Pilipinas national head coach Chot Reyes to start forming the pool of young players for the 2023 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup to be co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.
Pangilinan said that the pool will be comprised of current rookies and sophomores in Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and some collegiate standouts.
“I told Chot (Reyes) we have to form the team for 2023 and that’s six or seven years from today. It will not be composed of players like Jayson Castro. The players should be 26 to 32-year-old in 2023,” said Pangilinan during a news conference on Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas Pasig City.
“So, players like (Roger) Pogoy, Kiefer (Ravena), Thirdy Ravena and Ricci Rivero should form the team. They are the future players and we should start training them now,” added Pangilinan, hoping that the likes of the 6’9 Japeth Aguilar and seven-footer Greg Slaughter will still be available in 2023.
“It’s going to be a difficult task, so we need the assistance of all the basketball stakeholders, not only the PBA but also the UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) and the college leagues. We will need to plan a calendar now and not wait until 2021 or 2022,” said Reyes.
“We need to identify all the players, sit down with their coaches. As we develop the players, we develop as well as their conditions to make the team as its strongest in 2023,” explained Reyes.
SBP President Al Panlilio also said that they are planning to include two naturalized players in the pool since present naturalized player Andray Blatche will be too old for the 2023 event.
“He (Blatche) can play next year but not in 2023. I hope to get support from the government in the naturalization process as part of the pool. We need two naturalized players to be in the pool. We have to identify them now, somebody who is young and who can grow with the team,” said Panlilio.
The Philippine team is automatically qualified for the 2023 World Cup as one of the host countries.
Meanwhile, Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano, who was also present in the news conference together with Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco Jr., assured SBP of full government support in terms of infrastructures.
“We are not only doing this because of FIBA (World Cup 2023 hosting) the programs are already in placed for the infrastructures,” said Cayetano, noting that the hosting of World Cup will also boost the country’s tourism.