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Willie Marcial clarifies he has yet to talk with Chot Reyes on PBA's role for Gilas in WCQ February window

Justin Brownlee is expected to make his Gilas debut in the February window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Are we going to see San Miguel, Ginebra, and TNT players again for Gilas Pilipinas in the February window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers?

The full schedule of the PBA Governors' Cup elimination round seemed to be hinting at such an instance.

The three teams will have grueling schedules each in which they will play at most nine games in 25 days until Feb. 19.

However, the Gin Kings, currently enjoying a three-week break after winning the Commissioner's Cup title before playing six games in two weeks to start the season-ending conference, will only see action again by March 1.

The Beermen and the Tropang Giga, on the other hand, will travel to Japan to play in the EASL Champions Week and will only get to play PBA basketball again on March 15 and 17, the last two playdates of the eliminations.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, however, said on Thursday that nothing has been cast in stone yet regarding who's joining Gilas from Asia's premier play-for-pay basketball league.

While he said tapping the three teams for Gilas' duties is possible, nothing is final.

"As of now, baka [sila], pero ayokong magsalita nang tapos," Marcial said in the Sports On Air Weekly podcast.

According to the league chief, he has yet to discuss matters with Gilas coach Chot Reyes about who will be called up to the national team for the games against Lebanon and Jordan on Feb. 24 and 27 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue.

"Wala pa kaming pinag-uusapan ni Coach Chot. Uupo kami ni Coach Chot kung ano ang mangyayari at kung ano ang mga plano din niya di lang din yung mga players pati yung mga iba't-ibang sasalihan nilang tournaments," Marcial said in the Sports On Air Weekly podcast.

The only potential shoo-in for the Gilas lineup is Ginebra's resident Governors' Cup import Justin Brownlee, who is now cleared to play as a naturalized player.

With the Japan B.League expected to take a break as well for the February window, the likes of Ray-Ray Parks, Dwight Ramos, Kiefer Ravena, Thirdy Ravena, and Matthew Wright are expected to be considered as well.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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