Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner Chito Narvasa said there will be no more disruption on the PBA schedule beginning next season as the league laid out a program that will accommodate the schedule of Gilas Pilipinas up to the 2019 FIBA World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“We already adjust the calendar and fulfilled our obligation, so no more disruption on the part of PBA schedule next season. We already know the dates of home-and-away Asian qualifiers,” Narvasa told The Manila Times in an interview.
The PBA Season 43 schedule is set to kick off on December 17 while the FIBA home-and-away Asian World Cup qualifiers will start on November 24 with PH 5 playing Japan in Tokyo and November 27 against Taiwan at the Araneta Coliseum.
The other PH schedules for the qualifiers are February 22 against Australia, February 25 versus Japan. Other qualifiers schedules are June 29 against Taiwan and July 2 versus Australia.
Narvasa added the Philippine team under coach Chot Reyes can pick only two players each from the 12 teams based on the previous agreement of the league and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
“This is our commitment with the SBP and it is already laid out up to the Olympics based on FIBA schedule. Each team can lend two players unless they decided to allow three. But they should be ready to face the consequences because we are not going to adjust,” he added.
Narvasa admitted forming a competitive squad for the qualifiers will be hard and the SBP must come up with a long-term solution.
“It is hard because they need to be together for a long time which is quite improbable, so I told them what is their goal first, and they told me it’s a long term program which is the Olympics. So, the long term plan should include the coach and the system,” Narvasa said.
Narvasa said PBA players are in their best shapes and the only adjustments will be made is in the system.
“Practice is not going to improve your competitiveness, but it’s the competition. It is the play against the other teams and the better players. And where you can get that, only in the PBA or unless they join any other tournament elsewhere but who will accommodate them?,” said Narvasa.
JOSEF T. RAMOS