Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy said the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) should adjust its schedule for the upcoming second window of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asian Qualifiers on February 22 and 25 to allow teams to loan their players to Gilas Pilipinas.
In response to PBA Officer in Charge Willie Marcial’s statement regarding the possibility of allowing teams to loan more than two players to Gilas 5, Sy said the PBA needs to take at least a five-day break during the course of the Asian qualifiers so as not to compromise the quality of the players’ performance in the ongoing Philippine Cup.
“I think the league can be flexible to our schedule when it comes to that (national team). We can sacrifice one week or five days for national interest. I think it wouldn’t be that hard to loan players to the national team. It’s just a matter of adjusting the game schedules optimally,” Sy told The Manila Times on Tuesday.
The Elite have two players in the Gilas pool namely Mac Belo and Allein Maliksi, who have helped Blackwater post an impressive 2-1 start in the Philippine Cup.
Both Belo and Maliksi will be flying to Australia on February 19 when Gilas plays vs the Australians on the 22nd in Melbourne. They will return home the following day to prepare for a home match against Japan on February 25 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Blackwater has a scheduled game on February 21 against Phoenix.
We’re really sacrificing a lot by loaning Belo and Maliksi to Gilas. We’re not like the other strong teams who can afford to loan players with their lineup remaining solid. We’re kind of crippled without Belo and Maliksi,” Sy said in Filipino.
Magnolia team governor Rene Pardo said Marcial’s proposal would be tackled in next week’s PBA board meeting.
Pardo said that the original agreement states that only one cadet and one regular player can be loaned to the national squad.
“There should be no conflict in the calendar of games,” Pardo emphasized.
On Sy’s proposed five-day break during the Asian qualifiers, Pardo said the matter should be discussed thoroughly as a lot of things should be considered like the advertisers and league sponsors.
Despite the concerns, Sy and Pardo assured that they are committed to support the national team.