MANILA, Philippines -- The PBA is ready to welcome the members of the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft from 2019.
However, it will still be up to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) if and when the five players selected can already report to their mother teams.
"Basta 'pag sinabi ng SBP na pwede na 'yang player na 'yan sa inyo, or okay na maglaro 'yan sa PBA, okay na kami," PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said of the matter during Tuesday's Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
"Kailangan meron lang communication sa amin ang SBP na pwede 'tong player na 'to na maglaro sa PBA," he stressed.
Five players were selected in the special round of the 2019 PBA Rookie Draft: Isaac Go (TerraFirma), Rey Suerte (Blackwater), Matt Nieto (NLEX), Allyn Bulanadi (Alaska), and Mike Nieto (Rain or Shine). It has been reported that the players' contracts with the SBP will expire at the end of the month, although there remains the possibility of a renewal.
Marcial assured that if and when the players are released by the SBP and the Gilas Pilipinas program, they can immediately report to their mother teams.
"Oras na sinabi sa amin ng SBP na pwede 'yang player na 'yan, welcome, ilalaro namin. Ibibigay agad namin sa team," he said. "Siyempre, magpa-practice pa 'yan. So maganda 'yun kung maibibigay na agad sa amin."
The draftees have seen action for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers as well as the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament last year. It remains to be seen if they will be called up for the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers that will be held in a bubble format this year.