Friday, January 3, 2014

Not Enough Time for Gilas Pilipinas

In his twitter account, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes (@coachot) recently twitted this:

It readily appears that Coach Chot laments -- or perhaps he must have felt frustrated -- that the Philippine contingent to the FIBA World Cup may likely have insufficient time to prepare for the international tilt scheduled this September 19 to October 4. One month of rigorous training -- the whole of August, at most -- doesn't sound like much, especially when compared to the training period of the Philippine team's 'perennial rival,' South Korea, which Gilas trounced during the 2013 FIBA Asia. SoKor's training will start as early as April. What does this mean for Gilas Pilipinas?

As a minimum, it means that the Gilas boys will inevitably find themselves cramped in a tight schedule. Worse, this 'tight schedule' will come in the heels of the PBA's third conference. In short: so many body-racking, mind-bending things to do, yet so little time. One fear is that South Korea might eventually outperform Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup, owing largely to SoKor's ample preparation. Which seems valid, since the FIBA World Cup is littered with powerhouse teams brimming with talent, which means taller and more athletic players.

According to Coach Chot, the month of August is "the only window the PBA Board is giving us." PBA's priority is the PBA, not Gilas Pilipinas' FIBA World Cup ambition. It's as if the PBA honchos are trying to say that we've given you what you wanted during FIBA Asia, now it's your turn to give us ours. Or perhaps not simply the PBA biggies but also the owners and managers of the PBA teams who has a Gilas member in their lineup. It's as if the team owners and managers are trying to say that you've trained our boys prior to FIBA Asia, which is great, but now it's about time for us to use their training as leverage for our PBA campaign.

I'm not yet certain if Gilas Pilipinas President Manny V. Pangilinan won't be able to turn things around given his influence and resources. I'm thinking he can, but this presumes that the team already has its proposed lineup.

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