Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio bared the merit of reinforcements from PBA players, despite the stint of the Gilas Pilipinas with an all-amateur-line-up.

/ 2 December 2020

One of the factors why SBP went to bid for a team dominated by the young guns is that PBA players were unavailable because of its ongoing bubble season in Clark.

But, now that the Laguna-bubble has wrapped its scheme, Panlilio is considering adding PBA players to the Gilas Pilipinas core, set to see action in February 2021.

The Filipino cadets will be facing tougher lineups coming from Indonesia side coached by former Gilas coach Rajko Toroman and a powerhouse squad in Korea.

In relation to this, Panlilio affirmed that the league wanted to step up its game, possibly by having the next Gilas to be a crossbreed of amateurs and professionals.

“We will try to experiment for the next window especially we are playing Korea and Indonesia. We want to be a bit tougher,” he propounded.

“…maybe some players from this team that is in Bahrain and maybe some PBA veterans,” Panlilio added.

On the other hand, former national coach Yeng Guiao voiced his sentiments to the young cadets who had given short preparation of time before the scrimmage in Bahrain.

“I only have good impressions on the team. They have chemistry,” he told SportsPage.

Nonetheless, just like Panlilio, Guiao believed that having PBA players is still the best choice for the Gilas Pilipinas as the young guns have not fully proved themselves in the usual heavyweights in the continent.

“When you see them play against Japan, Korea, or the Middle Eastern teams, that’s the time we can say they are ready,” he said.

“I still feel we’re going to need our pro players if we really want to assemble the best team. This program is going towards using non-PBA players all the way to 2023, but I’m not really sure if that’s the best way to assemble the best talent,” Guiao added.

Still, the all-amateur-line-up coached by Jong Uichico, program director Tab Baldwin, and assistant Boyet Fernandez didn’t disappoint in the Manama tournament, beating Thailand into black-and-blue spots for a sweep of two games, 93-61 and 93-69.