Newly appointed Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes is planning to enlist TNT players for national team duty.
Reyes, who recently took over the job vacated by Tab Baldwin who opted to focus on the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ upcoming UAAP campaign, will call for the shots for Gilas in the second window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers which is scheduled to tip-off on February 24 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Aside from Baldwin, the entire 2019 special draft core of Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, Allyn Bulanadi, and brothers Matt and Mike Nieto are also out of the team.
Left to compete are Will Navarro, Jaydee Tungcab, Tzaddy Rangel, naturalized big man Ange Kouame and Juan Gomez de Liaño.
The PBA is now making the necessary adjustments in order to accommodate Reyes’ request.
“Ayaw naman i-disrupt ni Coach Chot ang PBA. So ang plano niya mag-inject lang ng TNT players sa Gilas for the qualifiers set in the last week of February,” said league commissioner Willie Marcial in a press release.
“What we would do now is to adjust our schedule to accommodate the request. Paglalaruin na agad namin ang TNT sa Governors’ Cup resumption, four to five games, para pagdating ng FIBA qualifiers, libre na ang TNT players,” he added.
The Tropang Giga are the reigning PBA Philippine Cup champions. The team is currently in the lower half of the Governors’ Cup team standings with an even 2-2 record.
Gilas plays South Korea on Feb. 24, India on Feb. 25, New Zealand on Feb. 27 and South Korea again on the 28th.