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5 senators call for inquiry to support Gilas amid recent struggles

Gilas' loss to Japan in the FIBA Asia Cup playoffs was among the stories in the Philippine team's 2022 struggles. FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Five legislators filed a resolution on Monday that would open an inquiry to find ways to support Gilas Pilipinas after the team found itself in hot water from the fans due to its not-so-impressive finishes in recent tournaments.

Senators Bong Go, Mark Villar, Alan Cayetano, Francis Tolentino, and Joel Villanueva filed Senate Resolution 83, entitled, "Resolution Urging the Senate Committee on Sports to Conduct an Inquiry in Aid of Legislation on the Ways to Support Gilas Pilipinas Men with the End in View of Reviewing Relevant Laws and Policies to Ensure Optimal Performance in Future International Sports Competitions and to Protect the Welfare of Filipino Athletes".

Go currently leads the Senate sports committee, while Tolentino is the brother of current Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol, who earlier warned that the legislative chambers could step in following Gilas' loss to Indonesia in the Southeast Asian Games men's 5x5 basketball final that dropped the Philippine team to the silver for the first time since 1989.

"There is a pressing need to revisit sports relevant laws and policies which are aimed to support Philippine national teams participating in international competitions and review any related measures that will ensure the competitiveness and welfare of Filipino athletes," the senators explained in the resolution.

They added, "Avid Gilas fans have clamored that the team receives more support in order to improve the team's performance in international competitions."

Some fans have been restless about Gilas' rough 2022 that also saw the team missing the quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia Cup for the first time since 2009, wherein they lost to Japan in the playoff first round.

Some of them even called for current Gilas program director and head coach Chot Reyes to step down and even attempted to have their voices known during TNT's PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal game against Blackwater and the launching of the FIBA World Cup mascot JIP, although both tries were relatively unsuccessful.

Interestingly enough, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is holding a stakeholders' meeting when the Senate resolution was filed.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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