The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has submitted to the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) the names of 24 players which will comprise the training pool for the Gilas Pilipinas Men’s team to the 2019 SEA Games which will be held in the country from November 20 to December 11.
SBP president Al Panlilio, however, revealed only 4 of those included in the pool and they are San Miguel’s Christian Standhardinger, Brgy. Ginebra’s Stanley Pringle and Ateneo de Manila’s Thirdy Ravena and Isaac Go.
“If you see the mix of the players, may mga amateurs. It is a way for us to develop other players,” said Panlilio during an interview after the SBP press conference last Tuesday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Unlike FIBA tournaments, Pringle and Standhardinger can suit up as locals in multi-sport events such as the Asian Games and the SEA Games.
With the successor of Yeng Guiao yet to be appointed, the pool is still subject for ‘tweaking’ especially with the deadline of submission extended up to September 30.
“It depends on the new coach. After the selection of the new coach, the coach will also assess the pool that we will include in the Southeast Asian Games. It will be sooner than later,” explained SBP special assistant to the president Ryan Gregorio.
Once finalized, this will mark the first time in the history of the biennial meet that the national team will be composed of amateur and professional players. The country has always been represented by collegiate standouts and the past teams have won the gold medal in 17 out of the 19 stagings of the men’s basketball competition.
Gregorio bared that it was the idea of SBP chairman emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan to send a mixture of PBA and college players.
“It’s definitely going to be a combination. MVP said that we want to have some youth movement also so we want to have some collegiate players also to get the necessary experience and of course, we also need to have that veteran leadership we can get from PBA,” said the 3-time PBA champion mentor.