MILAN – Matters concerning Gilas Pilipinas and other vital issues will be discussed when the PBA Board of Governors holds its annual planning session in Milan, Italy, ahead of the league's 45th season.
The members of the board, along with commissioner Willie Marcial arrived in Lombardy late Tuesday, following a 16-hour trip from Manila.
They are set for a three-day meeting to tackle, among other issues, the approval and mechanics of the first ever 3x3 draft in the league, the format for the season, and the scheduling of the games for the entire year in the light of the national team's campaign in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifying windows.
Board chairman Ricky Vargas is set to arrive on Wednesday along with Meralco board representative Al S. Panlilio to complete the delegation that also includes key PBA officials, led by legal counsel Atty. Melvin Mendoza.
Panlilio is also the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).
Members of the board who arrived with Marcial are vice chairman Bobby Rosales of Columbian Dyip, treasurer Siliman Sy of Blackwater, San Miguel’s Robert Non, Rod Franco of NLEX, Alaska’s Richard Bachmann, Atty. Mamerto Mondragon of Rain or Shine, Rene Pardo of Magnolia, Atty. Raymond Zorilla of Phoenix, and NorthPort’s Eric Arejola, and Barangay Ginebra’s Alfrancis Chua.
Foremost in the board's agenda is to once again adjust the league's schedule for the entire season, to give way to the national team's campaign in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers. The first window will be held on February 20 and 23.
A permanent Gilas coach will likely be tackled as well, following the SBP's appointment of TNT consultant Mark Dickel as interim mentor of the national team for the first window of the qualifiers.
Dickel, who takes over from Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone, is expected to start conducting training for the 24-man pool, with just three weeks left before Gilas kicks off its bid in the Asia Cup meet on Feb. 20 at home against Thailand and on Feb. 23 against Indonesia in Jakarta.
The PBA's 44th season was among the longest in PBA history, as it had to tweak its schedule several times to accommodate Gilas' participation in the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
The board will also discuss the 3x3 meet, as the PBA is looking to incorporate the tournament in the playing calendar this year, hopefully by the second week of April. PBA players represented the Gilas 3x3 men's team that won the inaugural gold in the SEA Games.
Likewise in the board itinerary is the possible changes in league rules, hosting of out of town games, the All-Star weekend, and possibly holding another game outside of the country just like the one the PBA held in Dubai last November.
The league's 45th season press conference will be held on Feb. 25 followed by the second holding of Media Day on Feb. 27 leading to the season opener on March 1 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
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