MANILA, Philippines – PBA Commissioner Chito Salud has proposed that each of the ten teams in the league send at least one player to the national basketball team as Gilas Pilipinas gears up for the FIBA Asia Championship in August.
"That's my proposal, as far as it's practicable," Salud said, as quoted by the league website. "If there are teams willing to lend more players, then so be it."
Salud said he personally phoned the PBA team owners to request for "unqualified cooperation" after receiving news that the Philippines got hosting rights to the tournament.
"I called everyone and they guaranteed their all-out support and cooperation, from Mr. Ramon Ang to Mr. Wilfred Uytengsu, to Mr. George Chua to Mr. Mikee Romero to Mr. Raymund Yu to Mr. Terry Que and to Mr. Bert Lina," Salud said.
"This undertaking wouldn't be possible without the persistence and dedication of our team owner Mr. Manny Pangilinan," he added.
The Philippines is hosting the FIBA Asia Championship for the first time in 40 years. The top three teams will advance to the World Championships in Spain in 2014.
"As early as last year, the PBA Board of Governors had approved the resolution allowing Gilas to tap our players for the national team. That’s the background of this thing," Salud said.
The commissioner stressed that Gilas head coach Chot Reyes still has the full authority in terms of building the national team's roster.
The FIBA Asia Executive Committee announced last week that they were moving the FIBA Asia Championship from Beirut to Manila due to the situation in Lebanon and the rest of West Asia.