The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) reaffirmed its support for Gilas Pilipinas in its preparations for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, with the intent of lending not just players but even coaches for the national squad.

/ 31 May 2022

The Gilas squad encountered a snag last week when the national team fell to Indonesia for the gold in the 31st Southeast Asian Games, thereby ending the country’s 33-year title run in basketball.

Despite the defeat in the biennial meet, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said Monday, during the league’s press conference at Conrad Hotel ahead of its 47th season that the league’s support for the national team will be echoed all throughout the preparation. 

Andoon pa rin ang commitment ng PBA to help Gilas,”

Katulad ng sinasabi namin, in behalf of the board and sa mga team owners, kung anong kailangan ng Gilas, ibibigay pa rin ng PBA,” he added. 

As the country will co-host the World Cup next year with Indonesia and Japan, all things concerned will be still in talks.

“Pag-uusapan pa din namin, pero kailangan, bigyan talaga ng magandang preparasyon for the 2023. Pag-uusapan ulit ng board ‘yan, pero andoon na. Doon na direksyon ng board. Mga two to three months ang preparasyon, so tingnan natin. Andoon na ang direksyon na nga,” Marcial said.

Meanwhile, the Barangay Ginebra team assured that they are willing to lend any player or personnel needed.

“They keep on asking about players, if we’re gonna lend players, since a couple of years ago, nag-agree kami lahat. Kahit ball boy, pwede nila kunin. Walang problema. Sila mamimili. Kami, all the teams, from Team 1 to Team 12, kung sinong gusto nila doon” coach Alfrancis Chua said. 

“Walang hahadlang,” he stressed. “Kahit sino gusto nilang hiramin. Kahit coach namin, hiramin nila, pwede.”

PBA chairman Ricky Vargas also stated that the league will be “flexible” for the best interests of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and Gilas as the FIBA World Cup 2023 runs from August 25 to September 10, with the final phase of the event to be hosted in Manila.

“The World Cup 2023 will be on our shores in 15 months, 16 months,” Vargas said. “That is also very important to us, not only because we’re PBA, but [because] we love basketball, and basketball is the pride of each and everyone of us in this room, and many others in the country.”

“That’s our pride. So we’d like to be able to offer our help once again, and be a little bit more flexible in terms of doing that. Kasi minsan lang tayo magkaroon ng World Cup dito,” he added.