The Philippine Basketball Association is willing to accommodate SMART-Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes’ request to get players from the pro league to play for the national team, granting that these players will come from the teams which will be eliminated in the Philippine Cup.
“Coach Chot submitted a 20-man list of players, whom he wants to use for the two tournaments in January next year – the Dubai International tournament and the tournament in Hong Kong,” PBA commissioner Chito Salud told sportswriters.
“I had to bring it up to the (PBA) board because the Dubai and Hong Kong tournament isn’t a part of the original plan the PBA is supporting and because these tournaments will run smack in the middle of the PBA season,” added Salud.
“I tried to convince the board that coach Chot will use these tournaments as tune up for the national team to determine which players would fit his system in international competitions,” added Salud.
Instead, the board suggested a plan that won’t disrupt the PBA’s calendar and avoid conflict to the teams and players requested to join the national squad’s campaign early next year.
“Considering that December will be the middle of the semifinals, our advice was for coach Chot to choose from the six eliminated teams and use some of the players from the cadet pool,” said Salud.
Salud added they will determine the four semifinalists by December 17.