GMA News Online

PBA: League execs shorten current season, grant Gilas more prep time for FIBA World Championships

January 30, 2014 4:53pm

(Updated 5:45pm) National team head coach Chot Reyes has struck an agreement with the PBA board to shorten the season's schedule to fast-track preparations for the FIBA World Championship in Spain this year.

"The board reiterated their full support to the Gilas program and they have very generously cut back the schedule by one month, said Reyes after making a presentation to the PBA board to resolve the scheduling dilemma.

After Reyes' meeting today with the board of governors and commissioner Chito Salud, the PBA announced that they will shorten the Finals of the upcoming Commissioner's Cup and Governors' Cup to a pair of best-of-five series. The extra time gives Gilas Pilipinas nearly a whole month more to prepare for the upcoming championship, running from August 30 to September 14.

"Thank you PBA Board for compressing the season to allow us to practice as a complete team by July 15 at d earliest," tweeted Reyes, publicly expressing his gratitude online.

Reyes also said the board would back the national team when it comes to securing players from their home franchises, a sensitive issue among PBA teams. "They also assured me that if there are other additional players that I would require, [they] would take it to their respective owners and that they can be considered to be part of the pool for the Gilas team," he said.

In the last FIBA Asia tournament, teams were mandated to lend only one player for national duty but were not compelled to release more.

Regular practice for the national team begins on March 3 for its core players, though the final lineup bound for Spain has not yet been finalized.

The board is poised to make adjustments for the Asian Games as well, which will be after the FIBA World Championship, from September 19 to October 4, according to Salud. "If Chot would require that... then we['ll] move back the opening of the 2015 season to accommodate our participation in the Asian Games," he said.

The 2014-2015 PBA season is now slated to begin on October 15.

Under the prior schedule, Gilas Pilipinas had just 17 straight days of preparation before the tournament begins. The current Philippine Cup will end on February 26 at the latest, while the Commissioner’s Cup will run from March 7 to May 21. The Governors Cup will then be from June 1 to August 13.

Reyes previously voiced regret that the league's schedule left little time for his team to practice for the world championships. FIBA Asia's communications head Magesh Mageshwaran also slammed the PBA's scheduling decision in a January column on the FIBA website, saying it was "bizarre" that the FIBA Asia runners-up were given "an abysmally short period of time to scrounge a preparation."

In comparison, FIBA Asia broze medalists Korea are slated to begin training camp in April, while defending champions USA will open camp in July as well, right after the NBA Finals. - JDL, GMA News
Go to comments

We welcome healthy discussions and friendly debate! Please click Flag to alert us of a comment that may be abusive or threatening. Read our full comment policy here.
Comments Powered by Disqus