SPORTS KEN: Gilas FIBA chances not bright

The PBA policy – and practice – of loaning to the national team only one player from each ballclub may hurt Gilas’ chances of reaching what has been the country’s ideal aspiration – that of getting into the world’s top basketball echelon.

Because of that long-standing policy, coaches of past national teams endure working with what they have, even if a PBA team can actually loan two players that could strengthen the core of the Philippine squad.

To simplify, read on.

Gilas needs another big man in the middle. Greg Slaughter is that guy. But the Gin Kings already have Japeth Aguilar in the national line-up.

Marcio Lassiter, is no doubt, an excellent shooting guard. He could replace one of the small guys in the guard rotation. But SMB has loaned out June Mar Fajardo.

Arwin Santos, also a Beerman, is also needed. His three-point shooting and defensive skills cannot be ignored.

JV Casio is a veteran point guard who had seen action in international outings. A thinking player, he too can make a difference. But Alaska has given Calvin Abueva to Gilas.

There’s also Paul Lee and Almazan.

I would love to see Kobe Paras, who professed his desire to quit college and become a pro, included in the Gilas roster.

Wouldn’t these guys highlight Gilas’ composition and strength more?

In the past, PBA management has long considered suspending or re-designing their playing schedule so that it will not get in conflict with prestigious international jousts like the Asian and Olympic Games and the FIBA World Championships.

Personally, my suggestion is for the Gilas coaching staff to replace a few (one, two or three) who I believe are still in the cadetship phase of their playing careers.

I will not name names so as not to hurt those who may have felt alluded to. But this is the reality.

During the sixties and seventies prior to the birth of the PBA, the BAP got its core of top amateur cagers from the MICAA ballclubs who freely lent their players to the national platoon in the name of flag and country.

When the Nationals get into action, the MICAA calendar is suspended until the players return to their respective ballclubs.

Gilas’ coaching philosophy should be based on blending a fraction of youth and more of experience. As basketball fanatics have noted, countries who aspire to beat the USA usually make use of their veteran players seeing action in the NBA.

Even if the Gasol brothers are quite over thirty something, Spain continues to make use of them.

Argentina, Germany and France likewise.

While Gilas beat Japan twice and Taiwan once in its group in the FIBA qualifying window for a respectable 3-1 record, the Filipinos never really threatened Australia and lost by 16 points in their first home and away matches.

Gilas still has plenty of time to plead its cause to the PBA people as the challenges in the FIBA sportsfest are getting stiffer.

Aren’t the Gilas boys fighting for national pride and honor?

Time to get back to the negotiating table, folks. (Email your feedback to 2 Tim.2:22: “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!