By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) successfully conducted its board meeting led by Chairman Senator Sonny Angara in preparation for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
One of the main discussions during the meeting was solidifying the final Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team roster for the FIBA World Cup.
Through president Al Panlilio, the SBP laid out all their initial plans for the upcoming prestigious tournament and received warm support from the different basketball stakeholders of the country.
Present during the meeting were representatives from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and other basketball groups.
Previously, the PBA already expressed its full support to the Gilas program after deciding to trim its upcoming Season 48 to just two conferences from the usual three.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial then added that with the new two-conference format, the SBP will have the luxury to hand-pick the best players from the professional league to be added to their final pool.
Also pledging their commitment to support the national team was the UAAP and the NCAA which also vowed to lend their players for the upcoming international events.
“We only have 389 days from the actual tip-off and I do appeal to all the stakeholders in basketball to come together and really unify in this effort,” said Panlilio.
Aside from Panlilio’s presentation, current Gilas head coach Chot Reyes also presided over a portion of the meeting and discussed their plans for a better outing in the next tournaments.
The SBP also confirmed the addition of Tim Cone, the winningest coach in PBA history, and the current UP Fighting Maroons mentor Goldwyn Monteverde who led the school to a historic title after taking down the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Coaching alongside Cone, Monteverde, and Reyes are Gilas staples Nenad Vucinic and veteran tactician Jong Uichico.