|We're happy thatt despite the disagreements in the PBA, we have all of the players that we want today here. Dennis Jerome Acosta/Dugout Philippines|
By Ivan Saldajeno
PASIG--With the PBA currently on a standoff of sorts due to the problems regarding the tenure of Chito Narvasa as commissioner, Gilas' preparations for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers has been affected as well.
But SBP vice chairman Robbie Puno is thankful that the league still agreed to lend some of its players for national team duties.
"Before, we said that the Filipinos are very passionate in basketball, but sometimes, those passions lead to disagreement. We're happy in the SBP that despite the disagreements and the conflicting passions that are evident in the PBA, we have all of the players that we want today," Puno said during the send-off press conference of the Nationals on Saturday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. "We'd like to thank the PBA for looking past their differences and helping out with the SBP."
Gilas is set to fly to Tokyo for its showdown with Japan on Nov. 24 at the start of their FIBA WCQ campaigns.
Puno also said that the NSA for basketball believes the top tier club basketball league will settle the score on the future of Narvasa in a jiffy.
"We are confident that the PBA will exude themselves through their differences," he continued. "It is our hope that as the PBA resolvesits differences, they will do so in the direction of strengthening national pride, supporting the national team program, and keeping all the players that might be needed by Gilas."
Meanwhile, Puno also looks forward to see all the 12 member squads "give their players without hesitation and that they will join the Gilas Pilipinas program without restriction."
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