The PBA on Wednesday agreed to make changes to its calendar to accommodate the Philippine national men’s basketball team in its quest to bring the country back to Olympics.
The league announced that its season-ending conference, the Governors’ Cup, will be moved after the conclusion of the 2016 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament that is slated from July 5 to July 11 next year.
The tournament, where Gilas Pilipinas and fellow runners-up from different continents have qualified, offers three tickets to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The PBA also said that the players included in the 17-man Gilas Pilipinas pool will be allowed to attend national team practices once a week starting this November.
Players who are called up for the pool are reigning back-to-back PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel Beer; Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel; Paul Lee, Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine;
Jayson Castro, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Troy Rosario, Ranidel De Ocampo and Ryan Reyes of Talk ‘N Text; Marc Pingris and Ian Sangalang of Star; Calvin Abueva of Alaska and Terrence Romeo of GlobalPort.
Gilas Pilipinas fell short of clinching an outright berth in the Olympics after settling for silver in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship.
The Filipinos haven’t reached the Olympic basketball stage since 1972.