The thought of seeing Greg Slaughter and Paul Lee once again represent Gilas Pilipinas in international tournaments are close to becoming a reality after the Board of Governors’s decision to lift the limit for teams to lend their players for national team duty.
The lifting of the rule was overshadowed by the announcement of Willie Marcial’s appointment as PBA commissioner Thursday.
PBA Chairman Ricky Vargas of TNT KaTropa made that announcement, paving the way for the potential entries of Slaughter and Lee, two of the PBA’s best players but have yet to make their return for Gilas because of the recently-scrapped rule.
Before the board’s decision, a PBA team is allowed to lend one veteran player and one member of Gilas Cadet squad should the need arises, although teams like TNT, Rain or Shine and Alaska have allowed more than one player in past FIBA events.
Slaughter have yet to see action in any FIBA tourney, though he was part of the first Gilas pool under Serbian coach Rajko Toroman, playing in different pocket meets abroad.
Lee’s only major FIBA appearance came in the 2014 World Cup in Spain.
Because of the one-player per team rule, Gilas coach Chot Reyes was left to pick Japeth Aguilar for Ginebra while either Marc Pingris, Allein Maliksi or Jio Jalalon were tapped from Magnolia.