• Sun. Oct 23rd, 2022

SBP to make selections for special Gilas round

Jan 26, 2021

THERE will be a special Gilas round in the coming PBA Rookie Draft.
NorthPort team governor Erick Arejola confirmed that the league has agreed to once again allow the national team program to select players from the aspirants pool ahead of the March 14 proceedings.
Speaking on Tuesday’s online Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, the affable executive shared that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will have the first dibs on the talent-laden field to replenish the young bloods in the Gilas Pilipinas program.
“By the end of submission for rookie applicants, we’ll find out who Gilas will pick like last year,” he said.
Talks of having another special Gilas round in this year’s draft gained traction following the submission of applications of national team pool members Calvin Oftana, William Navarro, and Jaydee Tungcab.
Pundits, though, are awaiting if La Salle center Justine Baltazar, who is poised to be the consensus No. 1 pick, will follow suit before the Jan. 27 deadline.
In contrast, University of the Philippines gunner Javi Gomez de Liano has already stated that he’ll skip the PBA draft this year but will remain focused with the national team and later on, in his final year with the Fighting Maroons.
Nevertheless, Arejola said that it still depends on the SBP on how many players it will choose to beef up the national team pool.
“The process would be: the final list of the players will be submitted by the PBA to the SBP, and that’s the time when they will decide on how many players they will elevate to Gilas,” he said.
Under the current setup, teams will claim the rights to the players in the special Gilas round before they are loaned to the SBP, which will sign them to contracts.
These players can only play for their mother ballclubs once they get a release from the SBP.
“For the five players that Gilas was able to pick, they will still continue to play for Gilas and not the mother team unless they are released by Gilas,” said Arejola.
The national federation selected five players from the special Gilas round back in 2019, namely Isaac Go (Terrafirma), Rey Suerte (Blackwater), Matt Nieto (NLEX), Allyn Bulanadi (Alaska), and Mike Nieto (Rain or Shine).
They have been part of the national team’s preparation through the course of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers since February last year.
As for this year’s pool, the PBA expects the SBP to name their selected players from the rookie pool by Thursday’s board meeting, which is only when teams are expected to take a close look on the potential talents they can tap come the PBA Rookie Draft proper.
“Medyo talagang naghihintayan kami kung sino ang iaakyat sa Gilas o hindi,” said Arejola.
Terrafirma once again holds the No. 1 pick, followed by NorthPort at No. 2.