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Chot Reyes proposes 30-man PBA-led pool in road to FIBA WC

Expect Kelly Williams, Troy Rosario, RR Pogoy, and Kib Montalbo to be considered again for future Gilas call-ups on the road to the 2023 FIBA World Cup. FIBA/Paul Ryan Tan (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes has made his next step in building up the national team for next year's FIBA World Cup.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial confirmed to Dugout Philippines on Tuesday night that Reyes met with him alongside Deputy Commissioner Eric Castro and Gilas team manager Butch Antonio to lay out his plans of assembling a 30-man pool for the national team ahead of a busy stretch beginning with the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi.

The pool will be mostly made up of PBA stars with some cadets and foreign-based professional players to be inserted too.

Another proposal made is adjusting the calendar for the upcoming 47th season of Asia's premier play-for-pay basketball league to give Gilas ample time to train for the upcoming events.

Good thing for Reyes, the ongoing Governors' Cup will end just before the SEA Games slated from May 12-23, giving him more time to prepare Gilas for the said event.

Reyes hinted on Sunday night that Gilas' SEAG roster will likely be made up of PBA players with the Gilas cadets who are still in college like Ateneo's Ange Kouame are not available due to schedule conflict.

[Related Story: Chot Reyes hints at bringing in all-pro Gilas for SEAG]

If formalized, this will be the second straight time the Philippine team to the SEA Games will be mainly made up of PBA stars like how a Tim Cone-coached squad that won it all in 2019 in Pasay was composed of.

Pressed for time, Reyes decided to bring in the core of his PBA squad, the TNT Tropang Giga, to the training pool for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, eventually bringing in Poy Erram, Kib Montalbo, RR Pogoy, Troy Rosario, and Kelly Williams while also calling up NorthPort's Robert Bolick to his final lineups during Gilas' games over the weekend in Quezon City.

Marcial added that the proposals will be raised in the PBA board of governors' meeting next week.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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