SBP Open to Discussing Gilas Program With Stakeholders


The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is open to discussing the future of the Gilas Pilipinas program with the country’s major basketball stakeholders.

SBP president Al Panlilio said that the federation is already planning to set up a basketball summit, where they can present their program for Gilas and discuss ways to improve the national team program.

“Of course, that’s welcome,” Panlilio told ESPN. “Remember, I did that August last year to prepare for the (FIBA) World Cup.

“I would like to do the same to not only prepare for the FIBA Asia Cup windows in February 2024 and the (Olympic Qualifying Tournament) in July 2024 but maybe plot out even up to the next World Cup in 2027.”

Panlilio’s comments come in response to calls from Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) officials for the national federation to present a program for Gilas and set up a basketball summit.

During a press conference on Oct. 9, PBA vice chairman Bobby Rosales challenged the SBP to present its program for Gilas — adding it “should have been done yesterday” — while Barangay Ginebra team governor Alfrancis Chua said there was a need for the organization to align the schedules of all major basketball leagues to avoid the personnel problems that plagued Gilas during the recent Asian Games.

Tim Cone, the assistant coach for Gilas in the recent Fiba World Cup

During the same press conference, PBA chairman Ricky Vargas suggested the need for a basketball summit involving all stakeholders.

Panlilio said that he hopes to hold the proposed summit in the next few weeks upon his return to Manila.

Another item surely to be tackled during the proposed summit is the selection of the new Gilas coach after Tim Cone had previously said that his Asian Games stint was a one-time gig only.

When asked if the SBP is open to hiring a foreigner, Panlilio answered that “all options (are) open for (the) next Gilas coach.”

As for the SBP, Panlilio noted the progress of the different Gilas programs this year and said he is working towards “improving the federation as a whole,” including closer collaboration with FIBA.

“We are making progress and that’s the objective (for) both 5×5 and 3×3,” he explained. “But we want to do better and make it sustainable.

“I am also in the process of improving the federation as a whole. Aside from stronger collaborations with all stakeholders, strengthen even more our relationship with FIBA now that I have been co-opted as a FIBA Central Board member to serve (from) 2023 to 2027.”

Panlilio added that he also chairs the Technical Working Group (TWG) of eFIBA after being appointed by FIBA Secretary-General Andreas Zagklis.

He attended the first Central Board meeting last Sept. 9 in Manila on the eve of the World Cup Finals.

Gilas Women achieved major milestones this year, including advancing to the quarterfinals of the Asian Games and the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup Division A for the first time.

Meanwhile, the Gilas under-16 youth team qualified for next year’s FIBA U17 World Cup by finishing fourth in the FIBA Asia U-16 tournament.

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