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PBA gives way to Gilas anew, compressed Govs' Cup schedule proposed

A shortened PBA Governors' Cup has been set to give Gilas more training time. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—The PBA is giving Gilas Pilipinas more time to prepare for a busy 2023 highlighted by the Southeast Asian Games and the FIBA World Cup.

According to Commissioner Willie Marcial, the PBA board of governors approved a proposal to have the timeline for the Governors' Cup shortened.

This means the games for the season-ending conference have to be played within a condensed schedule.

"Baka maglaro tayo ng Thursday or may triple header. Kailangan bilisan natin para mabigyan ng time na makapag-practice ang Gilas bago mag SEA Games," Marcial said on Saturday.

The SEA Games is set from May 5-17 in Phnom Penh, the first time the said city and the entirety of Cambodia will host the biennial meet.

The PBA Governors' Cup was initially scheduled to end by May 10 at the latest, but with a compressed calendar, the conference could now end a month earlier, giving Gilas more time to gear up for the SEA Games, where the team aims to reclaim the championship it lost earlier this year to Indonesia.

According to Marcial, PBA stars may likely fill up the core of Gilas again for the SEA Games.

Meanwhile, to make up for the prolonged lull between Seasons 47 and 48, a preseason tournament has also been set right after the SEA Games.

According to Marcial, the preseason tournament will also serve as a means for the 12 member teams to compensate for the number of months they were grounded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Gagawin natin yun para masuklian naman kasi yung owners natin. Nawala na nung COVID, tapos mawawala pa ng apat na buwan," the commissioner said.

A possibility that could arise during the preseason event is inviting national teams competing in the FIBA World Cup to join the tournament as well.

"Kung meron ibang bansa na magka-camp dito for World Cup na hindi natin ka-grupo, baka puwede nating laruin," Marcial further said, adding that he will consult the proposal first with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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