Senate investigation in favor of raising Gilas Pilipinas

Gilas Pilipinas celebrates after defeating Saudi Arabia in the fourth window of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Photo by Fiba

Some of the Philippines’ cage and sport leaders are set to appear before a Senate panel this week, formally launching a legislative inquiry into the treatment of Gilas Pilipinas.

The Inquirer learned through Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner Willie Marcial on Sunday that he, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chief Al Panlilio, newly appointed Philippine Athletic Commission Chairman Noli Eala and the National Coach Chot Reyes was asked to appear in the Senate on Monday at 10:30 a.m.

This is in line with Senate Resolution No. 83 tabled on August 1 by five senators, including Bong Go, who chairs the Senate Sports Committee.

The PBA chief clarified that the investigation will be an aid — not an indictment — of the national cage program.

“Like what I mentioned before, Senator Bong told me that it all depends on how Gilas’ preparations for the (basketball) World Cup can be improved,” Marcial told the Inquirer per telephone.

Gilas Pilipinas is currently determining a roster for the showcase that the Philippines will co-host with Japan and Indonesia in August next year.

But the Nationals’ rise to prominence has been marred by a series of international debacles, such as when the Filipinos ceded the Southeast Asian Games gold medal to Indonesia in Hanoi. Just two months later, he finished ninth in the Asian Cup in Jakarta.

For PH athletes

The resolution, which was co-introduced by Senators Mark Villar, Joel Villanueva, Francis Tolentino and Alan Peter Cayetano, also underscored the urgent need to review relevant laws and policies aimed at supporting the national team, while ensuring the competitiveness and welfare of Filipinos. athletes.

Marcial also shared that last Thursday, the PBA board opted to allow Reyes to sign three clubs for the Asian World Cup qualifiers, even though the league was neck and neck in its Commissioners Cup.

November window

“The (governors) agreed to help Gilas again in November. Although we are not going to take a break, the league has decided to loan players from two to three teams at Coach Chot’s choice,” Marcial said.

The commissioner refrained from identifying the clubs out of respect for Reyes, who is also the director of the Gilas program.

Gilas mainstays of TNT de Reyes and San Miguel beer can now support the cage program for the Fiba game against Jordan on November 10, as well as the rematch against Saudi Arabia on November 13.

The development should come as a relief to Gilas, who expects a number of absences by November as Fiba games will coincide with the new NBA and NBL seasons, which pretty much rules out Utah Jazz star Jordan Clarkson and Adelaide 36ers big man Kai Sotto.

Marcial shared that Gilas is also considering bringing in stars plying their trade in Japan, which should be a logical course of action for the cage program. The B.League, after all, also takes a break during Fiba competitions.

The Philippines are currently 3-3 in Group E of the tournament which cage leaders are using to prepare for the event which will feature the best nations on the planet.

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Norman D. Briggs