Selfish and unfair.
That was how Alaska coach Luigi Trillo described the move of the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas national program to sign top amateur players to its cadet pool, disallowing them from joining the PBA draft.
Trillo, whose Aces squad is expected to get one of the first two picks in the upcoming draft, said that while PBA teams have been willing to lend its players to the program, SMART-Gilas deprives pro squads the opportunity to improve themselves.
“I find what Gilas is doing is very selfish. They get the PBA pros first, then they have a cadet pool barring those picked from joining PBA draft,” posted Trillo on his Twitter account.
Alaska players LA Tenorio, Sonny Thoss, and Mac Baracael are part of the 16-man PBA selection that will form the core of SMART-Gilas. A team composed mainly of PBA players will compete in major international tournaments, while personnel from the cadet pool will join minor competitions.
Trillo told InterAKTV that Alaska management was originally not inclined to let its players join the national team, but softened its stance.
“We are lending our best pro players. The draft is our only chance to strengthen our line up. Why deprive teams who are willing to lend?” said Trillo.
Earlier, top Filipino-American prospects Cliff Hodge and Chris Ellis chose to skip joining the upcoming PBA draft, opting instead to join the SMART-Gilas cadet pool.
“It would be fair enough if these guys who will join the cadet pool will make themselves available in the draft. They can still play for the national team once they’re needed. You don’t need Hodge or Ellis for a SEABA tournament,” said Trillo.
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