MANILA, Philippines -- Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes will meet with PBA commissioner Willie Marcial after the February window of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers, in order to map out the national team's calendar up to 2023.
Reyes, who was appointed as the new Gilas coach just last week, is simultaneously calling the shots for the national team and the TNT Tropang GIGA. Given the short preparation period that he was afforded for the upcoming window, he has decided to bolster the Gilas pool with TNT players.
Speaking at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday, Reyes said he is already aware of the national team's schedule for the rest of the year -- which includes stints in the Southeast Asian Games and the Asian Games.
"Alam na natin lahat ng sasalihang tournament, lahat ng competition. And, we're doing a lot of things. There's a lot of things going on at the same time," said Reyes.
With the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) seeking cooperation from all stakeholders for the sake of the national team, Reyes and Marcial will discuss ways that the PBA can aid the Gilas program after the February window.
Gilas will play four games in five days from February 24 to 28 at the Araneta Coliseum.
"Nag-usap na kami ni commissioner Willie Marcial, na right after the window, first week of March, uupo kami," said Reyes. "Paplanuhin, paplantsahin na namin, how the PBA can help."
"I'm very thankful to the PBA Board of Governors for really lending their support and bending over backwards para sa programa," he added.
In a press conference over the weekend, PBA chairman Ricky Vargas stressed that the Gilas program has the full support of the league.
"We're very supportive of the team, and it is our wish that we know early enough which would be the core of our team in the World Cup 2023. So that we can actually go ahead and train them," Vargas said.
"Ang gusto lang nila, siyempre, those no surprises, as much as possible. So sabi ko lang kay commissioner, hayaan mo lang makaraos itong February, laruin natin 'tong window. And then, after this, mag-usap kami. Uupo kami para plantsahin at planuhin lahat, all the way through," said Reyes.
It remains to be seen if the PBA will be able to release some of its players for the national team's campaigns in the SEA Games and the Asian Games. Reyes, however, stressed that these are problems for another day.
The first order of business, he insists, is to put together a competitive team for the qualifiers later this month.
"Kung iisipin ko ngayon lahat 'yan, mahirap talaga," Reyes said of Gilas' packed schedule for the year. "Kaya nga ang sabi ko kay commissioner, patapusin mo muna ako nitong February, focus muna ako dito sa window, and then gawan natin ng plano lahat."
"Hanahanpan natin ng paraan 'yan," he assured. "We will find a way and we will find the best solution possible."