Gilas yet to call up PBA players for WCQ: Marcial

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

January 19, 2023, 9:20 pm

MANILA – Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Willie Marcial on Thursday said nothing has been cast in stone yet as to which players will be called up for Gilas Pilipinas to the February window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

Marcial said he has yet to discuss matters with Gilas coach Chot Reyes about the availability of the players for the games against Lebanon and Jordan on Feb. 24 and 27 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

"Wala pa kaming pinag-uusapan ni Coach Chot. Uupo kami ni Coach Chot kung ano ang mangyayari at kung ano ang mga plano din niya di lang din yung mga players pati yung mga iba't-ibang sasalihan nilang tournaments (We haven't discussed anything yet with Coach Chot. We will sit down to discuss what will happen next and his plans not just for the players but also for the future tournaments that they will join)," Marcial said in the Sports On Air Weekly podcast.

When the schedule of the PBA Governors' Cup eliminations was released on Tuesday, one observation many fans noticed was the grueling schedules TNT, San Miguel and Ginebra will have until Feb. 19 but will only return on March 1 at the soonest, leading to speculations that players from the three teams will once again make up the Gilas core just like last conference.

The only potential shoo-in for the Gilas lineup at the moment is the Gin Kings' resident Governors' Cup import Justin Brownlee, who is now cleared to play as a naturalized Filipino player.

While Marcial said tapping the three teams for Gilas duties is possible, nothing is final yet.

"As of now, baka [sila], pero ayokong magsalita nang tapos (maybe them, but I don't want to say it's final)," Marcial said. (PNA)