MANILA, Philippines – Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio believes Gilas Pilipinas would need the best the Philippine Basketball Association could offer plus a number of talented cadet players on the side to be successful in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which the country will co-host with Japan and Indonesia.
“I think the best players are still in the PBA,” said Panlilio in an interview with Cignal TV’s Sports Page Thursday. “In FIBA competition, you do need the experience of playing internationally.
“It’s great that young men got that experience, but when it comes to competition down the road, you need veterans to come in and contribute,” he added.
The newly elected Philippine Olympic Committee first vice president named June Mar Fajardo, Roger Pogoy and Japeth Aguilar as among the pros who should banner the Nationals.
He also spoke of Kai Sotto, who is playing in the United States, and Dwight Ramos, who shone the brightest among the players that represented the country in the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifier in Manama, Bahrain where it swept Thailand.
Gilas will also have Ivorian Angelo Kouame, whose naturalization process is currently being processed in Congress, or Jordan Clarkson or both, assuming FIBA allows the latter to play as a local.
“I want him to be a local but we have to continue to work with FIBA. I’m hoping that he becomes part of the team as a Filipino because he is a Filipino,” he said.
In the meantime, Panlilio said they are focused on giving the young guns precious international experience that may be beneficial for Philippine basketball in the future.
“It’s just an exciting combination to think of moving forward. It’s something that I think the program really planned to do, develop young men, expose them to competition,” he said.
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