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Chot Reyes hints at bringing in all-pro Gilas for SEAG

Some PBA players could be called up to Gilas' SEA Games team. FIBA/Paul Ryan Tan
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes mulled a possibility that the Philippine team to the Southeast Asian Games will be made up again of professional players.

Following Gilas' FIBA World Cup Qualifiers game against New Zealand on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Reyes said that he will meet with the PBA later this week to discuss his proposals, including adjusting the league's schedule for next season in line with Gilas' busy 2022 which also includes the Asian Games, FIBA Asia Cup, and the continuation of the WCQ.

"We have to meet with the PBA to synchronize calendars," Reyes said.

He then implied about an all-pro Gilas for the SEA Games in Hanoi as he is not expecting the Gilas Cadets who are still in college like naturalized center Ange Kouame of Ateneo to be available due to schedule conflict.

"I don't think we will have any of the collegiate players at our disposal because I think the UAAP will end on May 12 at the earliest or May 19 at the latest, and the Southeast Asian Games is [starting] on May 12. That's another thing to take into consideration," Reyes added.

The PBA Governors' Cup is expected to end just before the start of the SEA Games, making the pros available for Gilas duty once they get a call-up.

If the plan pushes through, this will be the second straight time a roster mainly made up of PBA stars would be built for the SEA Games similar to how Tim Cone formed a PBA-laden squad en route to the gold in Pasay.

But on whether he will bring back at least some of his players in Gilas' WCQ rosters over the weekend, he kept mum.

"Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question because we have yet to sit down and actually craft the plans," Reyes continued.

It is expected, however, that the PBA all-star core will be mixed by foreign-based pros like B.League stars Dwight Ramos and Thirdy Ravena, who played stellar for Gilas over the weekend despite being only relatively new to Reyes' dribble-drive system.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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