The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is lending players to Gilas Pilipinas for the fourth window of the FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers next month.
Commissioner Willie Marcial said that the Board of Governors agreed on such during their meeting on Thursday at the league’s office in Libis, Quezon City.
With this, national team coach Chot Reyes can select players he wishes to add to his pool from the teams that will not reach the 2022 Philippine Cup Finals.
Marcial said it would now be up to Reyes if he will select an all-PBA or a hybrid team come the next window where Utah Jazz cager Jordan Clarkson is expected to play.
It will also be Reyes’ call if he will select TNT players if the Tropang GIGA reach the finals.
At the same time, the board approved a two-conference format for the 2023 season that will be launched after the Fiba World Cup, giving the national team enough time to prepare for the event which the country will co-host with Japan and Indonesia.
This means that he can choose from 10 ball clubs.
“OK na rin ‘yung board na kumuha si Coach Chot for the August window mula sa 10 teams, ‘yung mga wala sa Finals,” said the amiable executive.
The last time that PBA players made up the Gilas pool for the WCQ was in the February window, which saw TNT players make up the team’s core.
No names have been mentioned for the upcoming phase yet, but that particular roster is expected to be led by NBA cager Jordan Clarkson.
The fourth window marks the start of the Qualifiers’ second round.
The Filipino dribblers are set to face Asia Cup 2022 runner-up Lebanon on the 25th in Beirut, before taking on Saudi Arabia at home on the 29th.
The three nations are part of Group E, together with Asia Cup 2022 bronze medalist New Zealand, Jordan, and the youth-laden India.
In addition, Gilas Pilipinas is slated to face Lebanon and Saudi Arabia on August 25 and 29, respectively. Clarkson is expected to arrive on August 15 for his first national team stint since suiting up in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
The next window will actually be the start of second round hostilities in the Asia qualifiers even though the Philippines has already gained a berth in the World Cup by virtue of being a co-host.
Gilas Pilipinas holds a 2-2 win-loss record in the qualifiers, and will battle Jordan in the second round of the home-and-away format competition.