Gilas head coach Chot Reyes said yesterday the final 12-man roster for the national squad competing in the SEABA Championships here on May 12-18 will be named on April 28 and only 10 days of practice as a complete team are scheduled without the benefit of a single tune-up.
Reyes admitted the situation is “not ideal” but “it’s better than nothing.” Although once-a-week Monday practices started this week, he said the final team of 12 will get together for training only on May 1 after the PBA All-Star Weekend.
“We won’t name 15 anymore,” said Reyes, referring to the initial plan of trimming the pool of 25, including naturalized player Andray Blatche, to 15. “The entire pool practices daily starting April 10 but players can still play for their mother teams in the PBA and are excused from Gilas practice the day before and on game days.”
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the PBA and SBP, the Gilas rookies in the pro league should have been released for national team training 60 days before the May 12 start of the SEABA tournament. That would have been last March 12. The MOA also stipulated the release of the other PBA players in the pool 15 days before May 12, coinciding with the deadline to submit the final 12-man lineup to FIBA Asia for the SEABA competition. – The Philippine Star