Gilas Pilipinas coach and program director Tab Baldwin reiterated that nothing has changed regarding their policy involving PBA players.
Baldwin said they remain open to PBA talents despite the recent successes of an all-amateur Gilas lineup in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers as long as the pro players will be able to commit a significant amount of their time to practices.
“When the PBA has the opportunity with their schedule to release players, I believe that they will do that," Baldwin said in an interview on The Link podcast with Rey Joble.
"If those players can make the necessary time, commitment into our program, and that means significant number of practices to integrate themselves into our playing system and our chemistry, then our arms are wide open for that.”
Baldwin has worked with PBA players before during his initial stint as national team coach which is why he knows what these talents could do.
But he stressed that a major key to the program's success is the players' commitment to master the system and build chemistry with the rest of the team.
“If either of those things aren’t going to be accomplished, then we are doing something that is going to diminish the strength of Gilas rather than strengthen it,” said Baldwin.
“I think all parties are aware of that and we are all working together to make sure that when we talk about PBA players' availability, we are not talking about something that is going to be detrimental to the PBA or detrimental to the Gilas program.”
He also urged critics to refrain from putting the PBA in a bad light amid the triumphs of the current Gilas lineup.
“That’s just the nature of the landscape here. To complain about it or to throw darts at the SBP or throw darts at the PBA really isn’t appropriate. We are all doing the best we can to put the best possible Gilas program together,” Baldwin said.