Four-team caging for Gilas mulled for World Cup buildup

By Nelson Beltran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 11 2014 08:59 AM | Updated as of Mar 11 2014 04:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Instead of re-amending the PBA third conference format to accommodate Gilas Pilipinas as 11th team, San Miguel Corp. official Robert Non is suggesting that the PBA just hold a separate short tournament for the national team after the current PBA season.

“That’s another option we’re looking at,” Non told The STAR.

“Let’s not touch the season format. Let’s make it simple by holding perhaps a four-team tourney involving Gilas plus two different PBA selections and a foreign team. The theme could be ‘beat Gilas,’” Non also said.

Non doubts the feasibility of the inclusion of Gilas team in the season-ending Governors Cup, citing Gilas Pilipinas I’s participation in the 2009-10 PBA Philippine Cup.

After three games by the Nationals, the PBA changed the set-up of Gilas’ participation in the tourney after hearing complaints from governors over the unpredictable use by coach Rajko Toroman of then naturalized player CJ Giles.

The governors questioned in particular the move by Toroman to play Giles for only five minutes in a game against Talk n Text. The Texters went on to clobber the Nationals, 103-70.

After that game, the league decided to render all Gilas’ games non-bearing.

On Thursday, PBA board chairman Ramon Segismundo formally put on the table the proposal to let Gilas Pilipinas play as the 11th team in the season-ending Governors Cup.

National coach Chot Reyes welcomed the proposal, saying playing together as one unit during the third conference would be a good jump-off point for the Nationals’ training and preparation for the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

“For me, yes (on Gilas suiting up for the final conference of the season). Anything that can give us more time to prepare and practice would be good for us,” said Reyes in an online report.

SBP executive director Sonny Barrios also talked about that possibility after Gilas’ first practice session on March 3. The team was to hold its second once-a-week practice last night.