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Gilas Pilipinas is considering playing in the PBA as a guest team during the league’s second conference, per a report by PhilStar.
According to PhilStar’s Quinito Henson, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is weighing all possible options for the national squad to help them stay prepared and in shape prior to the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers phase.
Per the report:
SBP president Al Panlilio said yesterday it’s “always a serious consideration” for Gilas to play as a contending team in the PBA and with the national team booked to compete in the FIBA Asia/Pacific World Cup qualifiers, it may be a way to gain actual game exposure in preparing for the coming windows.
Though already qualified as hosts in the next hoops World Cup, Gilas will compete in a group with Korea, New Zealand, and India.
The report adds that Gilas head coach Tab Baldwin is “not closing the door” on the PBA option, but all factors should be considered, as the country is still being crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some Gilas players, like Thirdy Ravena and Dwight Ramos, are also suiting up in the Japan B.League starting in October, although they have FIBA release clauses to allow them to play for the national team when called up.
The Philippines will start its World Cup qualifiers campaign against Korea in November this year.
Gilas will then have a busy schedule in 2022, where it looks to participate in the FIBA Asia Cup (postponed from its original 2021 schedule in Indonesia), the Asian Games, and the SEA Games.