PBA commissioner Chito Salud is fully supporting Smart Gilas Pilipinas II that he wants the national pool formed soon to have more lead time preparing for its task.
“The sooner the list is finalized the more lead time we give Gilas II to prepare. Coach Chot Reyes can then buckle down to work with the assets available to him and begin the difficult task of meshing their talents into a cohesive, competitive and highly driven unit,” said Salud.
Salud expressed confidence all the players being eyed for the team will heed the call of duty.
"The opportunity to play for one's country is a rare honor. I know our players will respond
positively if they believe they can be of added value to the team. We all have a role to play to be able to contribute to its success," said Salud.
Eleven players have so far signed a commitment letter to be part of the national pool.
Powerade's Marcio Lassiter, meanwhile, made a verbal commitment before leaving for the United States for a brief vacation.
Talk n Text’s Jimmy Alapag, Jason Castro, Ryan Reyes, Ranidel de Ocampo and Kelly Williams,
Powerade’s Gary David, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood, Ginebra’s Enrico Villanueva, and
Alaska’s LA Tenorio and Sonny Thoss are those who have put their names on the dotted line.
B-Meg’s James Yap and Marc Pingris, and Petron Blaze’s Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos haven’t
"Team manager Butch Antonio has communicated with Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos, and they've
referred the matter to their management while B-Meg has asked the letter be coursed through the PBA since they're still playing in the quarters," said Reyes.
The letter confirms the players’ willingness to be part of the pool to be trained for two years in preparation for the 2013 Fiba Asia Championship which serves as the regional qualifier for the 2014 world joust.
“I understand and accept the responsibilities of being a national pool member, which include, but are not limited to, attending all team functions, games, and practice/training sessions as long as they are not in conflict with my PBA team’s official schedules,” the letter stated.
“As a national pool player, I further commit to devote my full time and effort to Smart Gilas in
the off-season, even if it means sacrificing my rest and vacation periods, from now until the FIBA Asia Championship in 2013 and even possibly the FIBA World Championship in 2014,” the letter also stated.
The target date for completion of signed letters is April 11 with the pool set to have its initial meeting April 16.
Also part of the pool is naturalized player Marcus Douthit. (SB)