Please find forthwith the latest news re Smart Gilas and the PBA from the PBA Sports Desk received this afternoon:
Philippine Basketball Association commissioner Sonny Barrios wrote the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas yesterday regarding the participation of the Smart Gilas National Team in the ongoing 2009-10 KFC-PBA Philippine Cup.
Barrios said the Board directed him to choose only between two options: 1) for Smart Gilas games to have no bearing even on PBA teams, and 2) for Smart Gilas not to play CJ Giles in any of its remaining games that will have a bearing on the PBA teams.
Since the main objective of Smart Gilas participation as guest team is to help the Nationals prepare for upcoming international tournament, Barrios leaned toward rendering the games of Smart Gilas no bearing instead of barring Giles from playing.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We recognize that CJ Giles is a very vital part of the national team, the reason why he is considered as a candidate for naturalization for Filipino citizen.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He is seen as the Ã¢â‚¬Å“good big manÃ¢â‚¬Â the country sorely lacks to be able to compete with the powerhouse teams in Asia today. It will not help the teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cause any if Giles is not allowed to play with the team,Ã¢â‚¬Â Barrios explained.
In his letter to Noli Eala, executive director of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Barrios said the decision is deemed to well serve the purpose of the Smart Gilas, seeing action in the league as guest team.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are convinced that it is in everyoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best interest if both teams go into the game with the same mindset that the game has no bearing. Both Smart Gilas and the PBA opposing team, and their players, will thus be on equal footing as far as their outlook and approach of the game are concerned,Ã¢â‚¬Â Barrios said.
That means the result of games payaed by Burger King, Talk NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Text and Barangay Ginebra against Smart Gilas prior to the passing of the new directive are considered nullified and will not reflect in their win-loss record.
Apparently, the decision to bench CJ Giles for most part of the game between Smart Gilas and Talk NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Text last October 21, 2009 prompted PBA Board of Governors to revisit their earlier commitment with SBP and eventually supersede it with the new directive. Talk NÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Text won that game by a blowout, 103-70.
The present situation where the results count only for PBA teams has, apparently, also become a cause for concern for PBA coach and players alike.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Some players have pointed out that the different treatment almost always means a difference in the level of intensity that may give rise to physical play and unwanted incidents,Ã¢â‚¬Â Barrios said.
Barrios also took into account the observation of Barangay Guinebra coach Jong Uichico, himself a former national mentor.
Following GinebraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 100-72 win against Smart Gilas, Uichico was quoted in the papers as saying: Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is unfortunate that the PBA teams play the National Team always looking to win.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The coach of the 2002 Busan Games RP Team added that Ã¢â‚¬Å“the best way to help the RP team is to take away the Ã¢â‚¬Å“we have to win attitudeÃ¢â‚¬Â and give the PBA teams the opportunity to simulate the patterns of the clubs that RP Team will be facing in international tournaments.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Barrios dispeled concerns by the SBP that the PBA teams would not take the games seriously now that its has no bearing.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Just like that you assured us Smart Gilas will be prepared to play every game competitively and passionately, we also guarantee that that our PBA teams will give the national teams the competition they need to toughen up for the bigger hardcourt wars ahead.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I unfortunately need to reserve my opinion re above pending PLDT’s fixing our DSL which conked out this afternoon, just after our landline started working again after a month. I’m using my phone’s 3g to blog this and with my limited load, I’m not gonna have enough left to use it tomorrow after I’m done with this.
Re what my opinion would be, let’s just say that it’d revolve around the most amazing quote I’ve ever read, which happened to come from Ginebra coach Jong Uichico: Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is unfortunate that the PBA teams play the National Team always looking to win.Ã¢â‚¬Â My God.