FIBA: Gilas pool for February qualifiers expected next week

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 20 2020 11:43 AM

FIBA: Gilas pool for February qualifiers expected next week 1
PBA players will be part of the national team pool for the February 2021 window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers. File photo.

MANILA, Philippines -- Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) President Al Panlilio and Tab Baldwin, the program director of Gilas Pilipinas, are currently coordinating on the list of players that will be called up for the February 2021 window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers.

The list is expected to be released by next week, Panlilio said, as the pool of players will gather for a training camp in January.

"I'm working with coach Tab," Panlilio said in a press conference, Saturday. "Hopefully by next week I can give Comm. Willie (Marcial) some names of the request for PBA players who will be part of that bubble and for the February window."

"That's on me now. I'll work on that list with Coach Tab and get back with Comm. Willie," he added.

PBA players are set to be part of the upcoming qualifying window, after they sat out the national team's stint in November 2020 with the league's All-Filipino Cup still on full blast. 

Marcial has stressed that the country's professional players will be available for the February qualifiers.

"Sabi ko sabihin agad, para masabihan ang mga players kasi nagbabakasyon," said Marcial, who spearheaded the league's successful "bubble" in Clark, Pampanga earlier this month. 

"Basta okay sa players, wala tayong problema," he stressed. "Kung kelan ang training, January ang sabi sa akin ni Pres. Al, so January. Okay ang players, okay ang PBA."

Baldwin has previously said that they want a mix of professional and amateur standouts for the February 2021 window, wherein the Philippines will play South Korea twice and Indonesia once. Last November, a team of players with no PBA experience came away with two comfortable victories over Thailand.

A team of PBA players and collegiate standouts represented the country in the first window last February 2020, beating Indonesia 100-70.

"We want to continue the development of the young players. But in this window, since the PBA will be on break, we'd like to bring some PBA players in combination, especially that this window seems to be a very tough window for us," said Panlilio. 

"We wanna use these events to develop the young players and bring in the veterans and have games that they play together so that we can become a better team down the road," he added.

The Philippines play Korea on February 18 and 22, and Indonesia on February 20 next year.

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