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Gilas Men joining PBA Season 46

Rey Suerte could finally get to see action in the PBA. FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Ahead of the FIBA Asia Cup, Gilas Pilipinas Men will see action in the upcoming PBA season.

The development was agreed upon by the PBA board of governors during their meeting on Monday.

According to Commissioner Willie Marcial, the national team may participate in the Philippine Cup scheduled to start on April 9.

While they will play as a guest team due to the current core's amateur status, Marcial said that Gilas Men are eligible to win the championship in the season opening conference.

The collegiate players in the national team will first need to secure special guest licenses from the Games and Amusements Board to be cleared for PBA action.

On the other hand, this would also mean Isaac Go, Rey Suerte, the Nieto Twins, and even Allyn Bulanadi if he gets cleared to play after his shoulder surgery will finally get to play some PBA action after deferring from last season following their selection in the Gilas round of the 2019 draft due to Gilas Men commitments. 

If successful, the Nationals could become the first Philippine national team to capture the top tier league title since the fabled Northern Consolidated Cement-backed national squad during the mid-80's.

On the other hand, the PBA board agreed that the special Gilas round for the PBA Draft on March 14 will only be good for three to five picks.

This means by default, only Terrafirma, NorthPort, and Blackwater would benefit from the Gilas round as they really own the first three picks of the regular draft.

It is yet to be known, though, if previous trades will factor in even in the Gilas round as the Bossing gave up their third overall pick to the NLEX Road Warriors in the blockbuster Poy Erram trade to the TNT Tropang Giga.

NLEX and maybe Rain Or Shine would benefit from the Gilas draft anyway if the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas opts to go beyond three in the said round.

The board also agreed that the Gilas draftees may get to play for the teams that chose them if they are free to play.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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