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PBA to review Gilas program

TOKYO – The Philippine Basketball Association wants a clearcutidea of the adjustments it has to make at least in the next two years as far as Gilas Pilipinas is concerned.

The PBA also called for a mutual agreement among all stakeholders on how best to serve the interest of flag and country with as little hassle and disruption as possible.

“We need to a long-term look at the constitution, formation and supervision of the national anthem,” said PBA chief executive Chito Salud Tuesday during the annual planning session of the league’s board of governors.

“All stakeholders need to sit down with the Samahang Basketbol ng Plipinas as soon as possible.”

Talks of a more comprehensive Gilas program in relation with the PBA took up almost as much time as discussion about the handicapping system to be employed in the 41st season which kicks off Oct. 18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“FIBA has already changed the competition format for the World Cup and the Olympics (next year) and it looks like on a quarterly basis now,” said Salud.

“That could result in a quarterly disruption in the PBA calendar.

That’s why we have to sit down and resolve the matter, maybe revisit the past on how things were done.”

According to FIBA.com: “The modification of the current system is essential to further stimulate the global growth of basketball, as well as to increase its visibility around the world and further develop FIBA’s National

These new competitions format will give more prominence to the FIBA Basketball World Cup by placing it in a year where it can enjoy more exclusivity.”

In the new system, the qualification process for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup “will be held over the course of a year and a half and consist of six windows which will be in November (2017), February, June, September, November (2018) and February (2019).”

Among those present during the board meeting were NLEX’s Ramoncito Fernandez, Talk ‘N Text’s Patrick Gregorio and Meralco’s Al Panlilio, PBA governors associated one way or another with SBP and its president Manny V. Pangilinan, who owns all three companies they represent.

“Yes, the concern for modified arrangements has been relayed to them,” said Salud, indicating the three board representatives will likely be the ones to arrange the PBA-SBP powwow when the governors return Thursday.

Salud’s planned top level talks among the league’s team owners regarding the Gilas program also await finalization.

“We need all the facts before us before we get them on board,” Salud said. “The team owners’ presence will be requested when there’s already something to approve.”

PBA chairman Robert Non took note that problems seem to crop up every time the formation of the national team for international competition comes around.

“Every year na lang nangyayari yan,” Non said. “Kaya kailangan talaga malaman natin kung ano ang programa ng SBP. Noon ko pa nga hinihingi sa kanila yan e.”

The handicapping system discussions, meanwhile, reportedly sparked some heated exchange among the governors, with no consensus yet reached on the height ceiling for imports in the Commissioner’s Cup and the Governors’ Cup.

While the league takes cognizance, a source said, of the need to help expansion teams Kia Carnival (Mahindra Defenders next season) and Blackwater become more competitive, apprehension was voiced out that middle-tier ballclubs, which will be assigned smaller imports, might take the brunt of a handicapping system gone awry.

Non said the handicapping system has to be “studied,” adding that “expansion teams have to help themselves,” an apparent nod to Blackwater and Kia reportedly on the verge of trading away high first round picks in the Aug. 23 rookie draft.

Salud said the height limit scheme, which will be up for review yearly, will “allow the weaker performing teams to catch up with the stronger teams and make the games more exciting.”