PBA board agrees to send TNT players to Gilas for FIBA WCQ

PBA board agrees to send TNT players to Gilas for FIBA WCQ

Coach Chot Reyes got his wish to have his Tropang Giga players reinforce Gilas. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The PBA board of governors approved Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes' proposal to have some of his players at TNT reinforce the national team for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers February window.

In line with the development, the board also moved to have most of the Tropang Giga's remaining games be held immediately once the league restarts its Governors' Cup on Feb. 11.

PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas of the TNT made the announcement in a press conference with Commissioner Willie Marcial and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president and Meralco governor Al Panlilio on Friday.

"I'm very pleased to say that the PBA once again will adjust its schedule to allow some players from Talk 'n Text to play with Gilas not only during the window but also during the practice. It was a unanimous decision of the board to support such thing," Vargas said.

On how many Tropang Giga players would be called up for Gilas will depend on how many players from the last window of the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers will make the WCQ team.

Panlilio said that five players namely Ange Kouame, Tzaddy Rangel, Will Navarro, JD Tungcab, and Juan Gomez De LiaƱo have entered the Gilas training bubble, which is also the same training bubble where TNT is in.

A sixth Gilas member, Dwight Ramos, will arrive later Friday and is expected to enter the bubble on Saturday.

According to Panlilio, putting up a Gilas lineup with the core of the reigning Philippine Cup champion is a testament that Gilas is not taking the qualifying phase lightly despite being the host nation for the FIBA World Cup itself next year.

"It is preparatory to a good showing hopefully in August 2023, so we want to take all the windows seriously," Panlilio said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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