Because 9 key players will likely be sanctioned by Fiba, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas may not send a national team to the Asian Games
Published 4:16 PM, July 12, 2018
Updated 4:17 PM, July 12, 2018
REINFORCED. The core players of TNT KaTropa are supposed to reinforce the Gilas Pilipinas in the Asian Games. File photo from PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines – That controversial game between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia marred by a bench-clearing brawl may also affect the Philippines’ participation in basketball in the upcoming Asian Games.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio said because of that fight it is possible that the Philippines will not send a men’s basketball team to the Asiad.
“We’re contemplating with the PBA, ‘Do we send another team or do we send a team at all?’ Those are the options,” Panlilio said in a chat with reporters at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, July 11.
“Kung local lang, okay (It is okay if it is only local), but this is the first international tournament after that (Fiba game). I would assume if there are sanctions and then that’s the first international competition that we join, it’s a value question e, it’s a moral question.”
The Philippines was supposed to send a TNT KaTropa-reinforced squad to the quadrennial event set in Indonesia beginning August 18.
However, 4 KaTropa players – Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo, Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario – were ejected due to the fracas and now face likely sanctions from FIBA, leaving SBP with a dilemma.
Also ejected during that game were Andray Blatche, Calvin Abueva, Carl Bryan Cruz, Matthew Wright, Troy Rosario and Japeth Aguilar.
“Do we send a team or not? Or which team do we send?,” Panlilio said.
The SBP and Basketball Australia have until July 14 to air their sides after FIBA sent 3 videos to be reviewed by both federations, extending the original deadline of July 10.
While nothing is final yet, Panlilio said he will talk to Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Ricky Vargas to discuss the Asian Games.
“Syempre (Of course) basketball is big for the Filipinos. And us not sending a team might be, you know… Whatever you do, you get negative reactions naman but I think we’re just looking at it in all angles what is the best thing to do.”