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Pro league ready to adjust sked

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PSC-POC PBA commissioner Willie Marcial issues his stamp of approval to the training and preparation of Gilas Pilipinas for major international events.

The Philippine Basketball Association is ready to adjust its schedule so that Gilas Pilipinas can train longer for future international events.

During the league’s partnership announcement with ANTA, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said they are ready to take a backseat so that national team players can prepare for at least a week before the upcoming windows of the FIBA Asia Qualifiers and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Right now, Gilas Pilipinas is battling Hong Kong in the first window of the qualifiers at the Tsuen Wan Stadium in Hong Kong.

Preparation for the first window, however, wasn’t a major issue as the league is on break following a successful staging of the Commissioner’s Cup.

“We had a meeting with SBP (Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas) and Coach Tim Cone. We will give them time to practice. Tim Cone wants the practice seven to 10 days before the game and the PBA will give way for it,” Marcial said.

“We made the Philippine Cup opening on 28 February to cater to Coach Tim’s request so we are still committed to helping Gilas.”

Seven of the current 12-man Gilas roster are PBA players in Chris Newsome from Meralco, Calvin Oftana from TNT, PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Most Valuable Player CJ Perez of San Miguel Beer and the Barangay Ginebra quartet of Scottie Thompson, Jamie Malonzo, Japeth Aguilar and naturalized player Justin Brownlee.

“As of now, the players he talked to are still good but we don’t know how long they will go but for the next two years, that core is locked,” Marcial said.

“Let’s see because there could be some injuries and problems out of our control. But this is our team for now and Coach Tim will be using all the players there.”

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